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IIHIINIIIIIMItllllllllllll IIIIIIIUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMI'IIIUIIIinilllllMlinillllllMHIIIIlllllllllllllllllIlllllllltHltlllllllllllllllllllMlimilll. 









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Fac-simile of Dundee's autograph letter to Cluny, dated from Blair 

Castle, 26th July, 1689 the evening before the Battle of Killiecrankie 

and addressed " For the Laird of Clunie in Baddnoch." 







(Elann nan (iatbheal an <ttailUan ia ChetU. 

I8 97 . 





Introduction ..... . vii. 

Constitution ...... , xii. 

Office-Bearers for 1895-96 xvi. 

Twenty-second Annual Assembly (1894) . . . . , 1 
Unpublished Gaelic Songs, with Notes Rev. A. Maclean 

Sinclair, Nova Scotia 9 

Minor Highland Families No. 8 The Macgillivrays of 

Dunmaglass Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of Drum- 

mond ......... 29 

Oidhche Chaliainn ann an Tigh a Chaiptein Rev. D. 

Maclnnes, Oban . . . . . . . 47 

Jottings Legendary, Antiquarian, and Topographical 

from West Kintyre Rev. D. G. Macdonald, Killean . 54 
Twenty-third Annual Dinner (1895) .... 66 
The Influence of the Norse Invasion on the Language and 

Literature of the Scottish Highlands Rev. Neil 

Mackay, Croick, Ardgay . . . . . . 78 

Sutherland Place Names Parishes of Lairg and Creich 

Mr John Mackay, Hereford ... . . . 103 

Arran Gaelic Dialect Rev. John Kennedy, Arran . . 126 
Briathran nan Daoine 'Dh' fhalbh Rev. John Macrury, 

Snizort . . .141 

Giraldus Catnbrensis Mr Duncan Campbell, editor, 

" Northern Chronicle" 151 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch Rev. Thomas 

Sinton, Dores . . . . . . . .168 

Gleanings from the Charter Chest at Cluny Castle Mr A. 

Macpherson, Kingussie ...... 202 



Sketches of the Early History, Legends, and Traditions of 
Strathardle and its Glens No. 4 Mr Charles Fergu- 
son, Fairburn ........ 248 

Twenty-third Annual Assembly (1895) . . . .275 

Old Gaelic System of Personal Names Mr A. Macbain, 

M.A., Inverness 279 

Sutherland Place Names Parish of Dornoch Mr John 

Mackay, Hereford 316 

Members of the Society 

Honorary Chieftains 333 

Life Members . 333 

' Honorary Members ....... 334 

Ordinary Members ....... 335 

Deceased Members 343 

Society's Library List of Books . . . . .345 


THIS, the 20th, Volume of the Transactions of the Gaelic Society 
of Inverness contains the proceedings of a year and a half from 
July, 1894, to January, 1896. The two previous volumes also 
covered each one and a half years, and it is proposed that the 
21st Volume, which will be at once commenced, will bring the 
Transactions down an equal length of time, ending with our last 
public meeting in May. As the material for Volume 21 is 
practically all in hand, it is expected that no delay will occur in 
its production, as has been the case with the present volume ; and 
the volume may be looked for by the beginning of the winter 
session. If this programme is carried out the Transactions will 
once again be up to date, a consummation always aimed at, 
though not so often realised as the Council could wish. 

The death-roll among the members of the Society since 
January, 1895, has been long. Professor John Stuart Blackie, to 
whom the Gaelic Renaissance is due more than to any one man, 
died on the 2nd March, 1895. To his energy and enthusiasm was 
largely due the institution of the Celtic Chair in Edinburgh ; and 
his books on Gaelic literature and on general Highland matters 
have always been illuminating and stimulating. Mr Colin 
Chisholm, who also, like Professor Blackie, was one of the seven 
Honorary Chieftains of the Society, died on the 12th November, 
1895. He was an old and valued member, a faithful and enthusi- 
astic attender at all the Society's meetings, a most important 
contributor to its Transactions a man of manly form and mind 
and of ever-genial manner. Other deaths that must be mentioned 
are those of Bailie Alexander Mackenzie, of Silverwells, for several 
years a Chieftain of the Society, and a most active business 
member ; Mr John Mackay, " Ben Reay," whose researches into 
the history of the Highland regiments are of the .highest value 


(died 14th Nov., 1896) ; and just lately two good members have 
been removed Mr John Noble, bookseller, of Inverness, who as 
collector and dispenser of Gaelic works was unrivalled ; and Mr 
Duncan Forbes of Culloden, the genial representative of an 
illustrious ancestry. 

In home literature a good few books fall to be mentioned. In 
pure Gaelic work we have first our assistant secretary, Mr Alex. 
Macdonald, who has enriched the poetic literature of the Gael by 
his Coinneach is Coille. The second vo^me of the " Song-smith 
of Harris," Morrison's poems, has appeared under the editorial 
supervision of Dr George Henderson, who also shows much 
activity in contributing to the weekly journals excellent Gaelic 
matter. Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair has also added another volume 
to his " Gaelic Bards." The increased attention given in schools 
to Gaelic has produced quite a crop of Gaelic textual works. An 
excellent " Gaelic Grammar" has been published by Dr H. C. 
Gillies, who has set himself to bring Stewart's work up to date, 
and has succeeded. He has since published a shilling exercise 
book to accompany it. Mr Duncan Reid's Course of Gaelic 
Grammar has been almost two years in the field, and has been 
found a very practical work. Just lately Mr John Whyte pub- 
lished a shilling volume entitled " How to Read Gaelic," where 
Gaelic lessons and a concise Gaelic Grammar, the accuracy of 
which is -beyond suspicion, claim inter alia to admirably suit the 
first stage of the Code Work. Mr Macbain's Etymological 
Dictionary of the Gaelic Language is worthy to take its place 
beside any similar work done for any modern language in 
Europe ; it is severely scientific, and evidently the result of much 
research and painstaking. In the domain of historical literature 
four or five works of first-class excellence have appeared since 
January, 1895. Not to appear invidious we shall take them in 
the order of time. Mr Alexander Mackenzie has " pegged out" 
another claim to be "The Clan Historian." This time he gives us 
the History of the Frasers, certainly the largest of his works, and, 
according to some good judges, the best. The first volume of 
Clan Donald, by the Revs. A. Macdonald, of Killearnan and 


Kiltarlity, has fully borne out the high expectations held of it ; it 
is handsome in appearance, scholarly in execution, and fluent in 
diction. Mr William Mackay's Presbyteries of Inverness and 
Dingwall gives the records of these presbyteries for the 17th 
century all that remain of them. In a preface of singular 
lucidity and conciseness he sums up the characteristics of life and 
belief in the Highlands of the 17th century as disclosed by these 
records, presenting the reader with a vivid, true, and hence some- 
times startling, picture. Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, LL.D., 
for the title of LL.D. is now deservedly his, published lately his 
second series of Antiquarian Notes. They are practically an 
" Origines Parochiales" of Inverness-shire, where a vast mass of 
interesting and reliable information is given about every parish in 
the County. A volume on Sutherland and the Reay Country, by 
various hands, but edited by the Rev. Adam Gunn and Mr John 
Mackay, of the Celtic Monthly, is an eminently readable and 
informative book. The same may be said about Sheriff Rampini's 
Moray and Nairn, in Blackwood's " County Histories" series. 

As regards general Celtic literature, the last two years have 
shown more activity in the publication of articles and texts in 
periodicals than in the production of books. A new periodical 
bearing on Celtic philology has been added to the list this time 
" made in Germany !" It is the Zeitschrift for Celtic Philology, 
a friendly rival to the Revue Celtique ; and another periodical on 
Celtic Archaeology is being brought out. Most important articles 
have been published by Dr L. C. Stern, on the " Ossianic 
Question," and it is hoped that Mr Robertson, H.M.I.S., may find 
time to fulfil his kind promise of translating them for this Society, 
as he has already done this session in the case of Dr Windisch's 
similar article. Professor Zimmer has edited, in conjunction with 
Mommsen, a critical editor of " Gildasand Nennius," putting these 
important documents in the early history of Britain in their proper 
place and relation. Dr Kuno Meyer published some Irish tales 
about the Celtic Paradise, under the title of the Voyage of Bran, 
and Mr Nutt contributed a luminous addendum, dealing with the 
ideas of Celts and others about the "other world." Dr Stokes 


has published the Martyrology of Gorman, with his usual 
thoroughness in the way of introduction, notes, and glossaries. 

While Gaelic literary activity has been great within the 
Highland Borders for the last two years, an outside interest of a 
remarkable kind in Celtic literature has sprung up. This move- 
ment, taken in connection with the activity of the London Irish 
Literary Society, has been called the " Celtic Renaissance ;" its 
leading figures are Mr William Sharp, Professor Patrick Geddes, 
and " Fiona Macleod," whoever that eaigmatical personage may 
be. Mr Sharp and his wife edited a Ly#i Geltica, an anthology of 
all Celtic poetry ; and the former edited a centenary edition of 
" Ossian" James Macpherson died in 1790. Miss Fiona Macleod 
has written several books, purporting to be, or to be founded on, 
traditional stories of the Gael ; but unfortunately her method is 
Macpherson's over again in regard to the history, customs, and 
beliefs of the people, and her Gaelic, when her own, is of the like 
manufactured quality. Mr Neil Munro published a volume of 
traditional and descriptive stories, entitled the " Lost Pibroch," 
where he attempts, with no little success, to do for the Highlands 
what Mr Quiller-Couch has been doing for Cornwall. Another 
outsider, one, however, who disclaims all connection with and is, 
indeed, the severe critic of the Celtic Renaissance, published this 
spring a work that has caused a sensation both in the Highlands 
and everywhere else. This was Mr Lang's work, entitled " Pickle 
the Spy," in which he strives to prove that the spy who reported 
on the doings of Prince Charlie about the years 1752-54, under 
the title of ** Pickle" and " Jeanson," was none other than young 
Macdonell of Glengarry. How far Mr Lang has made good his 
contention it seems at present premature to say. 

The more full recognition of Gaelic in Highland schools 
is a topic that has agitated the various Gaelic and Highland 
Societies throughout Britain during the past half year. In March 
a strong deputation from these Societies waited on Lord Balfour, 
Secretary for Scotland, and laid their case ably before him. As 
a means of developing intelligence, of gaining literary culture, 
and so, on a lowsr scale, of earning money for the schools, not to 


mention the national side of the question, it was claimed that 
Gaelic might be more utilised might be used as an extra class 
subject, for instance. Lord Balfour's reply, though naturally 
savouring of the official non-possumus style, was not discouraging. 
It may be well to point out how far Gaelic is now recognised by 
the Code : (1) The children's intelligence may be tested in 
Gaelic ; (2) with this view an extra Gaelic-speaking P.T., with an 
extra grant, may be employed where the headmaster cannot him- 
self teach through Gaelic the junior classes ; (3) Gaelic may be 
taken as a specific subject on the same terms as Latin or French ; 
(4) Gaelic-speaking P.T.s receive at their first -examination for 
entering Training Colleges 80 marks extra to other P.T.s for 
Gaelic, according, of course, to the pass they make in that 
language. Gaelic is also recognised in the Code for the Evening 
Continuation Schools, and has been well taken advantage of, with 
good results. 

INVERNESS, July, 1897. 



1. 'S e ainm a' Chomuinn " COMUNN GAILIG INBHIR-NIS." 

2. 'S e tha an run a' Chomuinn : Na buill a dheanamh 
iomlan 's a' Ghailig ; cinneas Canaine, Bardachd agus Ciuil na 
Gaidhealtachd ; Bardachd, Seanachas, Sgeulachd, Leabhraichean 
ag^s Sgriobhanna 's a' chanain sin. a thearnadh o dhearmad ; 
Leahhar-laun a chur suas ami am baile Tnbhir-Nis de leabhraichibh 
agus sgriobhannaibh ann an canain sam bith a bhuiiieas do 
Chailcachd, lonusachadh, Eachdraidheachd agus Sheanachasaibh 
nan Gaidheal no do thairbhe na Gaidhealtachd ; coir agus cliu nan 
Gaidheal a dhion ; agus na Gaidhei! a shoirbheachadh a ghua ge 
b'e ait' am bi iad. 

3. 'S iad a bhitheas 'nam -buill, cuideachd a tha gabhail suim 
do runtaibh a' Chomuinn ; a^us so mar gheibh iad a staigh : 
Tairgidh aon bhall an t-iarradair, daingnichidh ball eile an tairgse, 
agus, aig an ath choinneamh, ma roghnaicheas a' mhor-chuid le 
crannchur, rfithear ball dhith-se no dheth-san cho luath 's a 
phaidhear an comh-thoirt ; cuirear crainn le ponair dhubh agus 
gheal, ach, gu so bhi dligheach, feumaidh tri buill dheug an crainn 
a chur. Feudaidh an Coinunn Urram Cheannardan a thoirt do 
urrad 'us seachd daoine cliuiteach. 

4. Paidhidh Ball Urramach, W bhliadlma . 10 6 

Ball Cumanta 050 

Foghlainte 010 

Agus ni Ball-beatha aon chomh-thoirt de . 770 

5. 'S a' cheud-mhios, gach bliadhna, roghnaichear, le crainn, 
Oo-chomhairle a riaghlas gnothuichean a' Chomuinn, 's e sin aon 



1. The Society shall be called the " GAELIC SOCIETY OF 

2. The objects of the Society are the perfecting of the Mem- 
bers in the use of the Gaelic language ; the cultivation of the 
language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands ; the res- 
cuing from oblivion of Celtic Poetry, traditions, legends, books, 
and manuscripts ; the establishing in Inverness of a library, to 
consist of books and manuscripts, in whatever language, bearing 
upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and 
the material interests of the Highlands and Highland people ; the 
vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people ; and, 
generally, the furtherance of their interests whether at home or 

3. The Society shall consist of persons who take a lively in- 
terest in its objects. Admission to be as follows : The candidate 
shall be proposed by one member, seconded by another, balloted 
for at the next meeting, and, if he or she have a majority of votes 
and have paid the subscription, be declared a member. The ballot 
shall be taken with black beans and white ; and no election shall 
be valid unless thirteen members vote. The Society has power to 
elect distinguished men as Honorary Chieftains to the number of 

4. The Annual Subscription shall be, for 
Honorary Members ..... 10 6 

Ordinary Members . . . . .050 

Apprentices . . . . . .010 

A Life Member shall make one payment of . 770 

5. The management of the affairs of the Society shall be en- 
trusted to a Council, chosen annually, by ballot, in the month of 


Cheann, tri lar-chinn, Cleireach Urramach, Runaire, lonmhasair, 
agus coig buill eile feumaidh iad uile Gailig a thuigsinn 's a 
bhruidhinn ; agus ni coigear dhiubh coinneamh. 

6. Cumar coinneamhan a' Chomuinn gach seachduin o thois- 
each an Deicheamh mios gu deireadh Mhairt, agus gach ceithir- 
la-deug o thoiseach Ghiblein gu deireadh an Naothamh-mios. 'S 
i a' Ghailig a labhrar gach oidhche mu'n seach aig a' chuid a's 

7. Cuiridh a' Cho-chomhairle la air l^th anns an t-Seachdamh- 
mios air-son Coinneamh Bhliadhnail aig an cumar Co-dheuchainn 
agus air an toirear duaisean air-son Piobaireachd 'us ciuil Ghaidh- 
ealach eile ; anns an fheasgar bithidh co-dheuchainn air Leughadh 
agus aithris Bardachd agus Rosg nuadh agus taghta ; an deigh sin 
cumar Cuirm chuideachdail aig am faigh nithe Gaidhealach rogh- 
ainn 'san uirghioll, ach gun roinn a dhiultadh dhaibh-san nach tuig 
Gailig. Giulainear cosdas na co-dheuchainne le trusadh sonraichte 
a dheanamh agus cuideachadh iarraidh o 'n t-sluagh. 

8. Cha deanar atharrachadh sam bith air coimh-dhealbhadh 
a' Chomuinn gun aontachadh dha thrian de na'm bheil de luchd- 
bruidhinn Gailig air a' chlar-ainm. Ma 's miann atharrachadh a 
dheanamh is eiginn sin a chur an ceill do gach ball, mios, aig a' 
chuid a's lugha, roimh'n choinneamh a dh'fheudas an t-atharrachadh 
a dheanamh. Feudaidh ball nach bi a lathair roghnachadh le 

9. Taghaidh an Comunn Bard, Piobaire, agus Fear-leabhar- 

Ullaichear gach Paipear agus Leughadh, agus giulainear gach 
Deasboireachd le run fosgailte, duineil, durachdach air-son na 
firinn, agus cuirear gach ni air aghaidh aim an spiorad caomh, glan, 
agus a reir riaghailtean dearbhta. 


January, to consist of a Chief, three Chieftains, an Honorary 
Secretary, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and five other Members of- the 
Society, all of whom shall understand and speak Gaelic ; five to 
form a quorum. 

6. The Society shall hold its meetings weekly from the 
beginning of October to the end of March, and fortnightly from 
the beginning of April to the end of September. The business 
shall be carried on in Gaelic on every alternate night at least. 

7. There shall be an Annual Meeting in the month of July, 
the day to be named by the Committee for the time being, when 
Competitions for Prizes shall take place in Pipe and other High- 
land Music. In the evening there shall be Competitions in Read- 
ing and Reciting Gaelic Poetry and Prose, both original and select. 
After which there will be a Social Meeting, at which Gaelic sub- 
jects shall have the preference, but not to such an extent as 
entirely to preclude participation by persons who do not under- 
stand Gaelic. The expenses of the competitions shall be defrayed 
out of a special fund, to which the general public shall be invited 
to subscribe. 

8. It is a fundamental rule of the Society that no part of the 
Constitution shall be altered without the assent of two thirds of 
the Gaelic-speaking Members on the roll ; but if any alterations 
be required, due notice of the same must be given to each member, 
at least one month before the meeting takes place at which the 
alteration is proposed to be made. Absent. Members may vote by 

9. The Society shall elect a Bard, a Piper, and a Librarian. 

All Papers and Lectures shall be prepared, and all Discussions 
carried on, with an honest, earnest, and manful desire for truth ; 
and all proceedings shall be conducted in a pure and gentle spirit,. 
and according to the usually recognised rules. 




Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant. 


Duncan Campbell. 

William Macdonald. 

John L. Robertson, H.M.I.S. 


William Mackay, Solicitor. 


Duncan Mackintosh, Bank of 


Colin Chisholm. 
William Fraser. 
Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
John Macdonald. 
R. Macleod. 


William Fraser. 

Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie. 

Neil Macleod, Edinburgh 



J. E. B. Baillie, Esq. of Doch- 
four, M.P. 


James Fraser, C.E. 

Alex. Macbain, M.A. 

John L. Robertson, H.M.I.S. 


William Mackay, Solicitor. 


Duncan Mackintosh, Bank of 


John Macdonald. 
Duncan Mactavish. 
William Fraser. 
Alex. Mackenzie. 
Wm. Macdonald. 


William Fraser. 

Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie. 

Neil Macleod, Edinburgh. 



THE Twenty-second Annual Assembly was held in the Music 
Hall, on Thursday, 12th July, 1894, and proved one of the most 
successful ever held under the auspices of the Society. The 
attendance, every available seat being occupied, included High- 
landers from all parts, who had come to do business in the great 
Wool Fair of the year, and to which this annual concert forms 
somewhat the nature of an introduction. The hall was artistically 
adorned for the occasion, the tartans of the various clans, neatly 
draped, forming a harmonious colouring and setting for the stags' 
heads, specimens of ancient armour, and other adjuncts of High- 
land decoration, which altogether lent an air of character to the 
gathering. For the second time in succession Mr Charles Fraser- 
Mackintosh, as Chief of the Society, occupied the chair, and, with 
a considerable number of other gentlemen, wore the dress of his 
clan. Supporting the Chairman on the platform were Provost 
Ross ; Captain Chisholm of Glassburn ; Mr Macpherson-Grant, yr. 
of Balliudalloch ; Rev. Dr Norman Macleod ; Mr Alexander 
Mackenzie of the Scottish Highlander ; Mr William Mackay, 
Craigmonie ; Dr F. M. Mackenzie ; Rev. A. J. Macdonald, 
Kilearnau ; Mr James Fraser, C.E. ; Mr Donald Fraser, Augusta, 
Georgia ; Mr Colin Chisholm ; Mr A. F. Steele, Bank of Scotland ; 
Mr Alexander Mackenzie, Silverwells ; Dr Moir ; Rev. Mr Mac- 
queen ; Mr Mackinnon, Drummond ; Major R. A. Fraser ; Rev. 
William Davidson, Oban ; Rev. Mr MacConnachie, Paisley ; Mr 
Alexander Bunress, banker, Gairloch ; Mr J. E. Horrigan, Inland 
Revenue, and Mr D. Mackintosh, Secretary to the Society. 

The Chairman, who was very cordially received, said : Ladies 
and gentlemen, By the favour of the Committee of Management, 
i have been honoured by re-election as your chief. This has 
involved my making three public appearances within the year, 


2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and I almost fear you will have had enough of me, and feel, if 
you don't express it, " Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage." 
However, here I am, and though it is time I were put on the 
retired list, yet I can say for myself that the youngest of the 
Society is not more hearty in its objects, nor more willing to 
assist in carrying them out. In the name of the Gaelic Society 
of Inverness, I bid this large audience a hearty welcome, and trust 
the programme will meet with your approbation. The past half- 
year has been one of great activity in Highland literature, and 
several of our members have again distinguished themselves. I 
would specially refer to Mr Mackay's book on the parish of 
Urquhart and Glenmoriston. Mr Mackay is one of the founders 
of the Society, and has been closely connected with it ever 
since. In this volume he has treated his subject with skill and 
erudition, and withal, so modestly as to be a pattern and example 
for me and other writers to follow. I observe with interest that 
" Nether-Lochaber " and he have crossed swords as to " Monie," 
and when " Greek meets Greek then comes the tug-of-war." Far 
be it from me to interfere rashly, but I do suggest to Mr Mackay 
that he should call in and make " Mealfourvonie " a part of his 
testimony. If every parish in the county had its historian, 
Inverness-shire by itself would form a respectable library. I 
cordially approve of Nether-Lochaber's suggestion that a fitting 
memorial of the seven men of Glenmoriston, who directed Prince 
Charlie's fortunes when they were at their lowest, should be 
erected. I am quite sure that it has only to be submitted to the 
public, when sufficient subscriptions will be received to raise a hand- 
some monument to mark the respect that we in these days have for 
those men whose names are held in the most respectful remembrance. 
Then my friend Mr Mackenzie, that indefatigable writer of clan 
histories, has brought out a new edition of the Clan Mackenzie, a 
fact most creditable to the enterprise and position of that Clan, 
aid showing their undoubted status and continued progress. It 
also shows in a remarkable degree, particularly to those who are 
connected with Celtic literature, which seldom or ever pays, that 
there is a demand for such works. But Mr Mackenzie is going 
further. I believe he is now engaged on the History of the 
Frasers, and now-a-days, he must be a bold man who will take it 
upon himself to write a history of the Clan Fraser, when he 
considers what has happened in the field and in the Courts of Law 
in olden times. He also must be very careful in face of the 
prophesy of Coinneach Odhar that the two Clans will again meet, 
.ind the Rivers Ccnon and Beauly will run in blood. I will myself 

Annual Assembly. 3 

be curious to see how Mr Mackenzie deals, for instance, with the 
marriage of the elderly lady of Tarbat, with the Lord Lovat aged 
sixteen, the Prestonhall and Frazerdale questions, and whether he 
will condemn, alleviate, or exculpate. We shall see what the 
results will be. There has been produced within the last six 
months, under the (superintendence of Mr Macbain of .Rainings' 
School, a second volume of Reliquiae Celticse. The publication of 
the Clanranald and Fernaig Manuscripts is really an era in the 
history of our literature. One thing these brought out is the 
prominence assigned to Sir Alexander Macdonald in the times of 
Montrose. It is too true that Macdonald and his followers have, in 
far too great a degree, being either accused of crimes and cruelties 
or relegated to a back seat. The reputation of the great Montrose, 
his career and actions, were such as to make it quite unnecessary 
to belittle the exertions of others, his allies and followers. The 
learned editor would have done well, in the Fernaig MS. case, in 
recognition of the frailty of the Gaelic of many of us, to have given 
an English translation ; but Mr Macbain, who has borne the lead- 
ing part, has done his work nobly, and I am glad to see that he is 
now engaged on a new Gaelic .Dictionary. Dr Cameron's transla- 
tions of some hymns is beyond praise, and I may specially mention 
the ancient and touching one, beginning with* the line, " mother, 
dear Jerusalem." He has shown what a wealth and what a power 
there is in the Gaelic language. I have also been delighted to see 
that Mr Henry Whyte, so well-known under the name of Fionn, 
and Mr Macfarlane have published a little book of Gaelic songs for 
use in schools. This is, in truth, an advance step most gratifying 
to all lovers of music, especially when I recollect, and many on the 
platform recollect, the difficulty, not many years ago, of getting 
Gaelic recognised in the code. The most beautiful of our songs 
have generally been composed by dwellers in the country, and it 
has been thought that without actual knowledge of country life in 
youth, no good songs can be composed. But we must not forget 
that there are now living in our large towns many to T.'hom the 
country is comparatively unknown, but who are descended of the 
soil, cherish the traditions of the place of their birth, and speak 
and sing in the Gaelic tongue. I desire that by the teaching of 
Highland music in schools further facilities be given for its acquisi- 
tion, and that where the gift exists, it may find voice and expression 
even in the back streets of great cities. The programme has this 
year been modified, so as to make the musical portion more 
peculiarly Highland than formerly. I hope this will be appreciated 
and now shall no further trespass on your attention, but call 011 
the first performer. 

4 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dr F. M. Mackenzie, Inverness, delivered the usual Gaelic- 
address, speaking as follows : 

Fhir-na-Cathrach, a Bhaintighearnan, 's a dhaoin-uaisle Tha 
e na chleachdach a bhi labhairt focal no dha, aig a choinneamh 
bhliadhnal so, ami an cainnt ar mathar a Ghailig bhinn, cheol- 
mhor. Agus gu dearbh bu narach agus maslach an gnothuich 
n'am bithidh buill Comuinn Gailig Inbhirnis a' caithidh an 
fheasgar so gun focal Gailig 'nan cinn. Ach is ann a tha againn,. 
oranain, ceol, 'us dannsa a chuireadh aoibhneas air Ossian Aosda 
fein na'n robh e n'ar comunn an nochd. 'S e so an dara uair a 
chuir luchd riaghlaidh a Chomuinn an^-urram ormsa an oraid 
Ghailig a thoirt seachad, oir aon bliadhna diag o'n nochd labhair 
mi ribh 'sa Ghailig. Cha 'n eil fios agam carson chaidh iarraidh 
ormsa an t-searmoin so thoirt duibh, oir mar is trice, aig leithid 
so do dh' am, 's e ministear a tha dol na chubaid. Tha mi chm- 
teach nach 'eil an com nun tinn, agus uime sin a cuir feum air 
leighiche, oir cha robh e riamh cho laidir, slan, falain, 's tha e 
nochd. Anns a cheud aite, dh' iarrainn a bhi 'g ainmeachadh mu 
bhas Mr Andrea MacCoinnich, ministear Chill-a-mhoraig, a thachair 
o'n choinnicli sinn an so mu dheireadh. B' esan a thug a cheud 
oraid seachad aig steidheachadh a Chomuinn seanar uasal, fogh- 
lumta, agus ard sgolair Gailig. Ach bu choir dhuinn a bhi 
taingeal an uair a tha aon saighdear a' tuiteam, gu 'm beil 
fear eile air eiridh na aite. Anns a bhaile so fein, tha againn nor 
sgolair Gailig aim am Mr MacBeathainn ; agus bithidh sibh 
toileach a chluinntinn gum beil am Foclair Gailig a bha e cuir ri 
cheile airson iomadh bliadhna a nise gu bhi ullamh. Cha 'n ann 
na h-uile la thig leithid a leabhar air tir. Leabhar eile dh-iarraimi 
ainmeachadh " Eachdraidh Urchudain 'us Ghlinne Morustain," 
le mo charaid 'us m' fhearr duthcha Mr MacAoidh leabhar a tha 
Ian eolais agus fiosrachadh mu'n Taobh-tuath agus companach ro 
mhath air oidhche fhada gheamhraidh. Tha mi an dochas nach 
bi Gaidheil eadar so agus Australia agus America nach faigh an 
da leabhar so. Airson m' fhear cinnidh, Mr Alastair MacCoinnich, 
seanachaidh nam fineachan Gaidhealach, cha 'n 'eil tamh air a 
latha no oidhche ach a sgriobhadh eachdraidh fine air chor eigin. 
Tha mi tuigsinn gu'm beil na " Frisealaich" gu bhi gu h-aith- 
ghearr an lamhan an luchd leughaidh, agus tha mi cinnteach gu'm 
bi i cho foghlumta ris na chaidh roimpe. Tha mi 'n dochas gu'm 
bi na Frisealacih na'n leughdairean cho math ri Clann 'Ic Coinnich, 
air chor 's gu'm bi clo bhualadh eile air iarraidh air ball, mar a 
thachair do'n fhiiie agam fhein. Gu dearbh tha bhriathra a 
IShiiird ;iir teachd gu teach : 

Annual Assembly. 5 

"Nis togaidh na Gaidheil an ceann, 
: S cha bhi iad am fang nis mo ; 
Bidh aca ard fhoghlum nan Gall, 
A's tuigse neo mhall na choir." 

Agus c' arson nach bitheadh sin mar sin. Nach 'eil againn Ard 
fhear-teagaisg na Gailig an Oil-Thigh Dhuinedin ; nach 'eil Parla- 
maid a' toirt airgiod airson a bhi ga teagasg 's na sgoilean. Cha 
robh i riamh cho measal aig uaisle 'us daoine foghlumta 's tha i 
an diugh. Cha 'n eil aobhar sam bith a nise gun deanadh fear 
teagaisg 'san taobh-tuath a leithid do mhearachd eagalach 's a 
rinn ministear araidh roimhe so. Aon la bha e dol o'n taigh ; 
agus a chionn 's gun robh e dol an rathad garbh, goirid, agus 
cha'n ann an rathad fada reidh, thug e ordugh dha sheirbheiseach 
an diollaid a chur air an each anus na briathra so : " Ian, Cuir 
an Diabhul air an each, oir tha mise dol do'n aite 's miosa an 
diugh" nor droch eisemplair o'n bhuachaille do'n trend ! Mar 
^hanan aosmhor 's mar chanan binn, blasmhor, bu choir dhuinn a 
Ghailig a chumal suas 

"Ma chreideas sinn MacAlpainn fiughal 
B' i Ghailig tus nan canan ; 
Bh' aig Adamh anns a gharalh ur 
Mus d' fhuair e cunadh Shatain." 

Ach co dhiubh a labhair Adamh i gus nach do labhair, cha 'n eil e 
deanamh moran eadar-dhealachadh, Tha aon ni cinnteach 
labhair m' athair 's mo mhathair-se i agus iomadh duine coir agus 
ibean mhath eile 

" Tha Ghailig cruadalach, cruaidh, sgairteal 
Do dhaoin' uaisle reachdmhor, laidir ; 
'N am treubhantais na gaisge 
'S i 's deas fhacalaich 'san ait' ud. 

v " Tha i ciuin an cuiseaii fialaidh 

Chur an gniomh a briathra blatha ; 

Tha i corr a sgoilteadh reusan 

Chum daoine gun cheil 'chur samhach. 

" S i fhuair sinn o'n na parantan 
A rinn ar n-arach og ; 
'S i bu mhath leinn fagal 
Aig an al a tha teachd oirn." 

6 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S an dam aite, bheirinn comhairle do'n mhuinntir og a rugadh 's 
a dh' araicheadh am measg nam beann. " Lean gu dluth ri cliu 
da shhmsear, 'us na dibir bhi mar iadsan." Dh' ullaich am 
Frcasdal fialaidh gach ni tha freagarach airson a bhi cumail suas 
inntinean 'us cuirp an luchd aiteachaidh. Tha oranan 'us ceol a 
bhuineas do gach duthaich tha freagarach 'us nadurach do 
mhuinntir na duthcha sin, Na bitheadh sibhse, uime sin, 
coltach ri rocas ga sgeadachadh fein le iteagan peacaig agus a 
toirt a chreidsinn oirbh fein gur iad oranan 'us ceol na h-Eadailte 
is fearr air bhur sonsa no oranan 'us ceol na Gaidhealtachd. 
Bheirinn a nise comhairle lighiche oirbl* gun a bhi 'g iarraidh 
or no airgiod oirbh. Ithibh na nithe sin a tha fas 'nar duthaich 
fein lite agus bainne, buntata agus sgadan, agus feol muilt a'' 
chinn duibh. Thubhairt an t-oran. 

" Feumaidh mnathan uaisle ti, 
'Sgur goirt an cinn mur faigh iad i." 

Cha'n ami 's na Innsean no an China a rugadh sibh air chor 's gum 
bi sibh a ol ti a dh' oidhche 's do latha. Is bronach a bhi faicinn 
gillean 'us daileagan oga le gruaidhean glasa 'us cuirp chaola a 
chionn 's gu'm beil iad a deanamh dimeas air a bhiadh 's an deoch 
a dh' ullaich am Freasdal dhoibh. Tha moraii do thrioblaidean a 
dol an diugh nach cuala 's nach d'fhairich ar seanairean iii mu'u 
deibhinn. Ach tha so ga mo thoirt gu treas ceann na searmoin. 
Cha 'n fhas buntata no coirce air na sraidean, uime sin 
feumaidh* an talamh a bhi air aiteachadh, agus air a chur 
gus an fheum airson an deach a chruthachadh. 'S e cheisd 
mhor, cha'n e a mhain amis a Ghaelteachd ach air feadh na 
rioghachd gu leir Ciamar is urrainn sinn an sluagh a thoirt 
air ais gus an duthaich a rithist ? Canaidh mi so agus b' fhearr 
learn gun tuigeadh gach neach 'am eisdeachd mi gu'm beil an 
Cruithear a ghna ni 's glice 's ni 's caoimhneile na'n creutair ; agus 
cha'n urrainn neach air bith bristeadh air ruintean 'us air laghannan 
an Uile-Cnumhachdaich gun a bhi fulang call agus peanas air&on 
a dheanadas. Mar thubhairt mi ribh a cheana, mur ith sibh am 
biadh a dh' ullaich am Freasdal air nar son, fulaingidh sibh nar 
slainte ; 'us mar d'theid talamh na the a chuir gus a' bhuil airson. 
an deach a chruthachadh, tha'n riaghachd gu leir a fulang call. 
Agus chan'eil neach 'sam bith a cur an teagamh nach b'e run 
Freasdail gum bitheadh na glinn bhoidheach, 's na srathan 
tarbhach, 's na sliosan uaine air feadh na Gaidhealtachd air an 
aiteachadh le daoine 's le mnathan, 's le clann bhig, agus cha'n ami 
le fiadh-bheathaichean na'm machrach. Ach gu co-dhunadh mo 
slicarmoin. Air mo shon fhein tha mi Ian dochas agus creideamh 

Annual Assembly. 7 

a thaobh na Gaidhealtachd. Bithidh na glinn fathast air an 
lionadh le sluagh. Bithidh seidrich an eich iarruimi ri chluinntinn 
dol troimh na glinn, 'us thairis air na monaidhean, agus cuiridh e 
eagal 'us broilein air chrith air gach buidseach 'us bocan, gach 
sithiche 'us each-uisge, air chor 's nach faicear 's nach cluinnear gu 
brath tuilleadh iad. Bithidh sluagh, cruadalach, laidir, falain ag 
aiteachadh tir nam beann ; agus iadsan 's na Bailteaii-mora tha 
cuir feum air slainte cuirp na fois inntinn, thigeadh iad do'n 
Taobh-tuath, 'us gheibh iad na bhitheas a dhith orra. Gu ma 
fada beo sibh, Fhir-na-Cathrach, agus Comunn Gailig Inbhirnis, 
chum a bhi toirt mun cuairt na nithe math agus feumal sin. 

A hearty vote of thanks, on the call of Provost Ross, to Mr 
Fraser-Mackintosh for his conduct in the chair and the interest 
he takes in the Society was cordially awarded. Mr Fraser-Mac- 
kintosh expressed his thanks, and proposed a similar compliment 
to the performers. 

The following is a copy of the programme for the evening, 
which was carried out successfully. The Society's piper, Pipe- 
Major Ronald Mackenzie, Gordon Castle, and Pipe-Major Ferguson, 
1st Batt. V.C.H., supplied pipe music during the evening, which 
was much appreciated. Miss Cosey Fraser presided at the piano. 


Address ,. CHAIRMAN. 

Song " Cam' ye by Athol " 

Mrs MUN BO. 

Song (Gaelic) "Is toigh learn a' Ghaidhealtachd " 

Miss LIZZIE B. MACKAY (Glasgow). 

Song (Gaelic) " Macgregor's Gathering" 


Song (Gaelic) " The Tocherless Lass " (" Gun chrodh gun Aighean") 


Piano and Violiu Selection Scotch Airs 

Mrs MUNRO and Mr WATT. 

Song "The March of the Cameron Men " 


Piano and Bagpipes Selection of Highland Airs 

"Major R. A. FHASER and Pipe-Major R. MACKENZIE. 

Song ..."The Bonnie Brier Bush" 


Dance Scotch Reel 

Oganaich Ghaidheala< h. 

Song " Lochnagar " 

Interval of Five Minutes. 

Bagpipe Music by Pipe-Major RONALD MACKENZIE, Piper to the Society, 
and Dance. 

Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Address (Gaelic) Dr F. M. MACKENZIE. 

Song " The Flowers o' the Forest " 


Song "Ann Fleasgach dounn " 


Dance " Reel of Tulloch " 

Oganaich Ghaidhealach. 

Piano and Violin Selections Scotch Airs 

Mrs MUNRO and Mr WATT. 

Song " A'r, fal al al-0 " 


Song "Oran na Cailleach" 


Song " Willie's gane to Melville Castle" 

" Auld Langsyne." 

The following song to the Society was composed for the 
occasion by Mrs Mary Macpherson, the Skye poetess : 


A Chomuinn rioghail runaich, 

Air tus a' choisinn buaidh, 

Tha cruinn aig Clach-na-Cudainn, 

Ag urachadh air cumhnantan, 

Gun dian sibh coir 'ur duthcha, 

Gu cliuiteach mar bu dual, 

Bho 'ur ceannard Friseil Mac*m Toisich, 

Ts moralach ra, luaidh. 

'S coir dhuinn a bhi taingeil, 

Nach eil air cainnt fo'n uir, 

'S gu bheil i falainn comhlionta, 

Fo bhratach luchd na'n feilidhnean, 

'S na ciadan agaibh cruinn a nochd, 

Le aoimhnaas air ur gnuis, 

A tighinn ga dian bho Thir na Beann, 

Gu Baile-Cinn nan Tur. 

'Sibhse oighreachan na 'n uaislean, 
A tha nochd nan suain gun chainnt, 
'Chuir a Ghailig air ur guaillean, 
Gun chiorum na gun truailleadh, 

Annual Assembly- 

Bu chairdeil rithe Cluainidh, 

'S bu shuairc e air a ceann 

Ach bidh cuimhii air " Sgiathanach" nam buadh 

Cho fad 's bhios buar air gleann. 

Gu soirbhich leis na h-armuinn, 

'S gach cearnaidh bhos us thall, 

Tha cumail suas ar Canain, 

J S nach leig a chaoidh gu lar i, 

Sliochd onarach nan Gaidheal, 

Chaidh arach feadh nan Gleann 

'S nuair bheirear dhachaidh leis a bhas sibh 

Bidh 'ur n' al ga seinn. 

Beanneachd leibh a chairdean, 

Tha snaithne 'ruidh gu cheann 

'S a reir cursa naduir, 

Bithidh mise ga nar fagail, 

Ach eiridh cuid na'm aite, 

Leis an deanar dain us rainn 

'S a chumas cuimhn' air cliu na ? m bard 

Cho fad 's bhios Gailig aim. 


nth DECEMBER, 1894. 

At the meeting on this date the following gentleman was 
elected a member of the Society, viz., the Rev. Alex. Macdonald, 
Muasdale, Kintyre. Thereafter Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A., read a 
paper, contributed by the Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair, Nova Scotia, 
entitled " Unpublished Gaelic Songs, with Notes." Mr Sinclair's 
paper was as follows : 

Teachdaireachd Mhic-Cailein gu Macdhomhnuill 

'S mis' a bheithir laidir, bhorb, 
'S mairg a bheanadh ri m' cholg. 
Ge b'e 'bheireadh am mach m' fhearg 
Tha i dearg mar dhriothlunn 6rd. 

10 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Teachdaireachd Mhic-Dhomhnuill gu Mac-Cailein. 

J S mairg a bheanadh ri m' shamhuil, 
Mar cheann nathrach 's a teang air chrith. 
Tha mi geur an deigh mo bhearradh, 
Beist air bun a h-earra 'dh 'ith. 

From Dr Maclean's M.S* 

Do dh-Iain Garbh, Triath Chola. 

'Righ, nach eireadh i tuath, 

'S i 'bhi siobhalta, buaii, 

'S gu'n togadh ar n-uaislean breid rith, 

'Righ, nach eireadh, &c. 


A Righ fheartaich nan dul, 
Cum an soirbheas sin ciuin, 
'S gu'n gabhadh mo run na dheigh e. 


Ceann mo thaighe gu ceart, 
'M fear a's urranta smachd, 
Criosd ga d ; choimhead 's gach feachd 'an deid thu. 


Dhuit a V fhasan bho thus, 

A bhi dileas do'n chrun, 

Gun bhi foilleil an ciiis fo'n ghrein da. 


Ceist mo chridhe-sa 'n t-ainm 
Leis 'n do bhaisteadh Iain Garbh ; 
S og a rinn mi suil-leanabas deideig. 


Mac na lanaine ceart 

'Dheonaich Dia 'san aon ghlaic ; 

'S fhuair sibh dioladh gu maith d'a reir sin. 

Old GaeliclSongs. 11 


Tha mi tamull gun suain, 

Agus m' aigne fo ghruaim ; 

Moir,' tha ionndraichinn bhuain a's leir dhomh. 


Gum b'e 'n t-ogh' ud bho Eoin 

Is bho nighinn Mhic-Leoid, 

'S mac na deagh mhna o'n Mhorthir m' eudail. 


Gu'n robh frei?gradh 'ud cheann, 

Agus deasbad neo-ghann, 

'N Gaidhlig, Laidinn, is Fraingis, 's Beurla. 


Gu'n robh susbainn 'ad chorp, 
Agus uaisle gun spot, 
'Fhir a b' urrainn 's gach cnoc an reiteach' 


Craobh de'n iubhar a b' fhearr, 

'Bu mhath luth agus fas, 

As a choille a b' airde geugan. 


Leam bu taitneach an geard 

'Bha mu d' thimchioll 'san aite ; 

B' ann de dh-abhall do gharaidh fein e. 


Mo chreach an tanaistear og, 
Leis an rachadh tu 'd dheoin, 
'Bhi ga t' fhaicinn gun deo 'ad chreubhaig. 


'S mairg do'n uachdaran og 

'Bhi ga t' fhaicinn fo leon ; 

Ged a thuit thu bu chonspunn cheud thu. 


Bhi ga t' fhaicinn gun deo 
An ar cumaisg nan sr61, 
'Fhir a leanadh an toir 's nach geilleadh. 

12 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Tha do chinneadh fo sprochd 

O'n la chaidh do lot ; 

'S aim bha 'n diubhalas goirt fo d' leine. 


'N caisteal tubaistech bh' aim 
Mu'n robh chaiseamachd shearbh, 
Righ, bu shoilleir ar call mu dheibhinn. 

Lachlan Maclean, 8th of Coll, married Marion, daughter of 
John MacdonaLl of Moidart, by his wif^ Marion, daughter of Sir 
Roderick Macleod, Ruairi Mor. Lachlan was drowned in Loch- 
aber 1687. He was succeeded by his only son John, Iain Garbh. 
John, who was a promising youth, was killed whilst pursuing his 
studies in Edinburgh. He was killed by a splinter from a grenade 
which had been fired to disperse a mob. He was in the eighteenth 
year of his age. 



Moch sa mhaduinn Di-domhnaich 
Mur nach d' ordaich am focal, 
Ghluais sinn 'mach bho 'n t-seann doirlinn, 
? S a righ, bu bhoidheach ar coltas. 
Bha tri fichead fo sheol diu 
Ann an ordagh 'dol dachaidh ; 
'S mor m' eagal 's mo churam 
Nach deid bhur cunntas a fhabhail. 


'S mor mo churam mu 'n Eachann 
So a dhealaich an de rium ; 
'S truagh nach mise bha lamh riut 
Nuair a theann i ri seideadh ; 
Naile dheanainn riut fuireach 
Mar a b' urrainn mi-fein deth ; 
'N t-og ur dha 'n robh mhisneach, 
'S raor an it as mo sgeith thu. 


Nuair a chaochail, a ghaoth oirnn, 
Righ ! gum b' aoghuidh sud dhuinne, 

Old Gaelic Songs. 13 

Bha gach fear mar a dh' fhaodadh 

Gleidheadh aodaich, 's bu duilich. 

Ach nuair bhuail i air seideadh 

'S ann a b' eigin dhuinn tilleadh ; 

Bha sinn uile ga 'r sgaoileadh 

Mar threud chaorach roimh shionnach. 


Nuair a rainig mi 'chabag, 
High, bu ghrannd' i ri 'faicinn. 
Bha gach duine na eigin, 
Gun solus greine no gealaich, 
Ri oidhche ghairbh, dhorcha 
'S ri stoirm chlacha-meallain ; 
'S sinn a ruith le croinn ruisgte, 
'S muir dhu-ghorm 'dol tharruinn. 


An sin thubhairt Anna, 
'S i a fanaid le uaill oirnn, 
'S mor m' eagal 's mo churam 
Nach giulain mi 'm fuaradh, 
'S trie a chuir thu mi, 'mheirlich, 
Ann an gabhadh bu chruaidhe ; 
Thoir an aire do m' stiuradh, 
'S na biodh curam a chuain ort. 


Na biodh curam mu m' aois ort, 
No as na saoir 'bha gam chumadh ; 
Dh' fhag iad mise cho laidir 
Ri aon bhat th' air an turas. 
Cum bho rochdan 's bho ruadh mi, 
'S bithibh cruadalach umam ; 
'S naile ruigidh mi Leodhas 
Ged bhiodh moran a muigh dhiu. 

The man from \vhom I got this poem says that it was com- 
posed by Murdoch Mackenzie, Murchadh Mor, Fear Aichealaidh. 
I suspect that it is of a much later date than the days of 
Murchadh Mor. 

14 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 


L? Domhnull Donn, mac Fhir Bhoth-Fhiimndainn,"aifuair a 
bha e sa phriosan. 


Gura mi 'th' air mo sgaradh 
Bho thoiseach an earraich ; 
Tha mo chas air a sparradh fo dheile, 
Gura mi, <fec. 

" * 

B' fhearr gu'n digeadh an t-aiteamli, 

Is gu 'm falbhadh an sneachda, 

Is gu'n teannadh gach aigneadh ri 'cheile. 


B' fhearr gu 'm faicteadh mo chairdean 
'Tigh'nn a staigli le Creig Phadruig, 
Is cha b' fhada 'bhiodh cabhsair ga reiteach. 


'S iad a chuireadh an gradan, 

Hi duthaich nan adag, 

Ohan fhagadh iad caisteal ri 'cheile. 


'S iad gu'n cuireadh an sguradh 
Fo luchd nan gruag fudair ; 
Chan fhagadh iad luth an coig cend diu. 


Bhidhinn cinnteach a 'r cruadal 

'N am an claidheabh a bhualadh ; 

huirteadh laigh' air na Tuathaich nach eireadh. 


Bhidhinn earboach a 'r dillseachd 

Nach fagteadh mi 'm priosan, 

'S gu 'm faighinn a risd air an reidhlein. 


Ach na ciurraibh an gobhainn, 

(Jed a dh' fhagainu e 'm dheoghaidh ; 

'S ro mhath 's aithne dhomh co e gan geill e. 

Old Gaelic Songs. 15 


Tha e mhuinntir Mhic-Shimie, 

Sliochd an t-sar chinne-cinnidh 

'N uair a tharladh gorch fine ri cheile. 


Luchd nam breacanan loinneil, 
Is nan claidheannan soilleir, 
Nach robh riamh am brath foille 'righ Seumas. 


Tha sibh 'm barail an drasta 
Gu bheil Sim agaibh caillte, 
Ach bidh e fhathast air Cabhsair Dhun-Eideann. 


Olc air mhath le 'r luohd diumba, 

Bidh sibh 'n uachdar na cuise, 

'S bidh fir Athuill a cunntas an leir chreach. 

Gun Leannadh gach aigneadh ri cheile. There was a disagree- 
ment between Donald I)onn and Coll of Keppoch. John Loin 
was also opposed to Donald Donn. Donald Donn had killed his 
son in a duel. An Gobhainn. The blacksmith was a Fraser who 
was in jail with Donald Donn. It is well-known that Simon 
Fraser, Lord Lovat, and the Marquis of Athole were bitter enemies. 
The trouble between them began in 1696. Lord Lovat was 
condemned to be executed in 1698, and fled to France in 1702. 
Donald Donn was put to death, but in what year I do not know. 
It is probable, however, that it was not earlier than 1698. 


Mu bhlar Sliabh-an-t-Siorraim. 
Le Sile na Ceapaich. 


'Mhic-Coinnich bho 'n traigh, 

'S e 'n gniomh nar rnar theich thu ; 

'N uair a chunnaic thu 'm blar 

'S ami a thair thu 'n t-eagal. 

Rinn thu coig-mile-deug 

Gun t' each srein a chasadh ; 

Bha claidheabh ruisgt' aim ad dhorn 

Gun fhear-cleoc' a leagail. 

1C Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ho ro agus ho, 
Ho ro an t-eagal ; 
Mo inhallachd gu leir 
An deigh na theich dhiu. 


Fire, faire, 'Lochiall, 

Sud mar thriall do ghaisgich, 

Nan ruith leis an t-sliabh 

Lan fiamh is gealtacbd ; 

Ged is iomad fear uior 

Bha mu Lochaidh agaibh, 

'S thall 's a bhos mu Ghleann-Laoigh v 

'S mu dha thaobh Loch-Airceig ! 

Fir nach seasadh ri teine 

\S an cnap geire nan achlais. 


Theicb Gordanaich uainn 
Le luaths an casan ; 
Agus cinneadh an righ, 
Lan spid is maslaidh. 
Clann-Fhionghain bu luath 
Air ruaig le gealtachd ; 
Theicb buidtieann nam faochag 
Gun aodach dhachaidh. 


Fir Athuill is Bhaideanaich 
Dh' fhalbh iad uile ; 
Theich iad bho '11 bhlar 
Gun stath, gun fhuireach. 
Cha robh iad ach sgathach 
'Bhualadh bhuillean ; 
'S cha b' fhearr iad na mathair 
Gu namhaid fhullang. 

Ach, a Raibeart nam bo, 
'S mor an sglco a thachair ; 
Bho 'n bhan-righ nach beo 
Fhuair thu or am pailteas. 
Gheall thu corr is coig ceud 
Be dh-fhearaibh treuna, sgairteil 

Old Gaelic Songs. 17 

'S cha b'fhiach iad am biadh 
An t-aon chiad a bh' agad. 


An t-Alasdair Ciar 
Chaidh e sios an rathad, 
'Gu cruadalach dian 
'N uair bha 'n triath laighe. 
Bha Clann-Domhnuill an fhraoich 
Air do thaobh 's bu nihath iad ; 
'S iad a cha-idh air ghleus 
Nuair a dh' eubh thu claidheabh. 

Air chalrnain duinn, ! 
Gun d' fhalbh ar Caiptin ; 
Call iii ri o, 
Cha dam' e dhachaidh. 


'S iad nach tilleadh 's a bhlar, 
No an lathair gaisge 
'S nach gabhadh bonn sgath 
Roimh namhaid fhaicinn. 
Fir ghasda mo ruin 
Nach diultadh aiteal, 
'S a chuireadh an ruaig 
Nuair bu chruaidh am baiteal. 

The Mackinnons are spoken of as buidheann nam faochag, 
simply because they lived on the seashore, and not in such an 
inland district as Lochaber. The sixth verse refers to the fall of 
that accomplished and popular chieftain Ailein Muideartach, and 
to the exclamation of Alexander Macdonald of Glengarry, Alasdair 
Ciar, when he found Allan's followers mourning over him, 
** Revenge to-day and mourning to-morrow." 

Le Sile na Ceapaich. 


'Chaoidh chan urrainn mi gu brath 
Dol 'thoirt cunntais ann do chach 
Air. na rug orm eadar da Dhi-Sathaime. 

18 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


'Chiad Di-Sathairne 'bha dhiu 
Chuir mi Anna bhuam do'n uir, 
Bu trie o ghluais mi gu sugradh aighearrach. 


'N ath Dhi-Sathoirne na dheigh, 
Thug e malairt dhomh am cheill ; 
Gu'n do liubhair mi 'Mhac De m' fheartaighe bhuam. 

'S trie a shuidh thu, 'ghaoil, gam choir, 

Thu gam amharc 's mi leith-bheo, 

Is cha chaomhnadh tu an t-or a chaitheamh rium. 

The poetess was nearly cut off by a severe illness some time- 
before the death of her husband. 

Le Sile na Ceapaich. 


'S i so 'bhliadhua 's fhaide 'chlaoidh mi, 
Gun cheol, gun aighear, gun fhaoilteas ; 
Mi mar bhat' air traigh air sgaoileadh, 
Gun stiuir, gun seol, gun ramh, gun taoman. 

's coma learn fhin co dhiu sin 

Mire, no aighear, no sugradh, 

An diugh o'n theann mi ri 'chunntadh 

'S e ceann na bliadhn' thug riadh dhiom dubailt'. 


'S i so 'bhliadhna 'chaisg air m' ailleas, 
Chuir mi fear mo thaighe 'n caradh 
'N ciste chaoil 's na saoir ga sabhadh ; 
'S mi tha faoin 's mo dhaoin' air m' fhagail. 


Chaill mi sin 's mo chuilein gradhach, 
'Bha gu foinnidh, banail aillidh, 
'Bha gun bheum, gun leum, gun ardan, 
'S guth do bheoil mar cheol na clarsaich. 

Old Gaelic Songs. 19 


Ma's beag learn sud fhuair mi barr air, 
Ceann mo stuic is pruip nan cairdean, 
'Leag na ceid le bheum ; s na blaraibh, 
Ga chur fo'n fhoid le 61 na graisge. 

Last verse. 

'Nis bho 'n chuir an saoghal cul ruinn, 
Ard Righ, dean sinn ortsa cuimhneach, 
'N deigh an latha thig an oidhche, 
'S thig an t-aog air chaochladh staidhle. 

This poem was originally published in Gillies's collection. It 
is copied into Sar-Obair nam Bard by John Mackenzie, who made 
a few changes in it. In the third verse Gillies has " 'Bha gu 
foinnidh, 'bha gu h-aillidh." Mackenzie has " Bha gu foinnidh, 
fearail, aillidh." I have given this line as it is in a version in my 
possession. Gillies has in the first line of the last verse " 's e so 
deireadh an t-saoghail bhruidhnich." This line appears in Sar- 
Obair narn Bard, evidently owing to a typographical error, as 
follows " 's e so deireadh an t-saoghail bhrionnaich." The poem 
refers to three different persons. The first two verses are about 
Julia's husband, the third verse is about her daughter, whilst the 
remainder of the poem is about Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, 
who died at Forres from the effects of a spree on wine in 1723. 


Do dh-Alasdair Dubh Ghlinne-Garadh, a ehaochail 'sa bhliadhna 
1724. Le Sile na Ceapaich. 

This beautiful elegy was published originally in Ranald 
Macdonald's collection. No one could read it without regretting 
that a portion of the last verse was lost. I am happy to state 
that the lost lines have been recovered in the gloomy woods of 
America, 'sa choille ghruamaich. The verse in full is as 
follows : 

Guidheam t' anam a bhi sabhailt' 

Bhon a chaireadh ann san uir thu ; 

Guidheam sonus air na dh' fhag thu 

Ann ad aros 's ann ad dhuthaich ; 

Guidheam do mhac a bhi t' aite 

Ann an saibhreas 's ann an curam, 

Alasdair a Gleanna-Garaidh, 

Thug thu 'n diugh gal air mo shuilean. 

20 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Air Blar Sliabh-an-t-Siorraim, le fear de Chloinn-Domlmuill a 
bha ga chosnadh an Duneideann, agas a chaidh a ghabhail 
seallaidh air a bhlar ga chur. 

Tha mi fo leann-dubh 's fo bhron, 

'S a chaoidh ri m' bheo bidh mis' mar sin ; 

Stiallaire bat' ann am dhorn 

Mar neach gun treoir 'sa ghlio'gadaich ; 

Bhon a dh' fhalbh an Righ' thar sail, 

'S gu la brath nach dig e oirnn, 

Gu 'm bi oirnn ar cinn a dhith 

'S gach ni, ma chitear biodag oirnn. 

Bha mi uair le m' ghunna brisg, 
Claidheabh, da chrios, is biodag orm ; 
Mo thrnaighe leir gu'n d' fhalbh iad sud, 
'Bhiodh air mo chrios a gliogarsaich. 
'S ann a bhliadhna gus an de 
A bha mi eutrom aighearrach, 
'N am dhuinn a bhi tarruing suas 
Ris an t-sluagh gu h-athaiseach. 


Nuair a chruinnich sinn gu leir, 
Bu lionmher fear sgeith is claidhibh ann 
'S sinn a falbh a dh-ionnsaidh 'n t-sleibh 
An ordagh feum' mar ghabhadh sinn. 
Bha sinn ann am barril mhoir 
Mun dugadh ordagh catha dhuinn, 
Nach robh de shluagh aig Righ Deors' 
Na chumadh comhrag lath a ruinn. 


Air dhuinn a bhi da la 'n ar tamh 
Tharruinn gach pairt am brataichean ; 
'S b' fhearr a bhi 'n Duneideann thall 
Na, bhi 'san am an taice riuth', 
Fhuair sinn fios sinn air mhears 
Nach robh ar namhaid fada bhuainn, 
'S dh' fhuirich sinn le ordagh Mharr 
Anns a bhlar a b' fhaisge dhuinn. 

Old Gaelic Songs. 21 


Chuir sinn seachad an oidhch' fhuar 
Gun ni mu'n cuairt thoirt fasgaidh dhuinn"; 
'S bha sinn uile deas gle thrath 
Gu dhol a sas le'r glas lannaibh. 
Nuair a dhirich sinn an t-uchd 
Chunnacas na h-uilc le 'm bideinibh ; 
'S 'nam dusgadh an tus an truid 
Gu 'n d } fhag sinn cuirp a clisgeanaich. 


Bha 'n lamh thoisgeil air dhroch ceann, 

'S an am 's an cridhe briosganaich, 

'S nuair theann ar namhaid an nail 

Ghabh Clanh-Chamarain brisdeadh bhuainn. 

Ruitheadh agus throtadh iad, 

Bhocadh agus leumadh iad, 

'S iad nan duibh-rith leis a ghleann ; 

'S ann 's droch am a threig iad sinn. 


Mur h-e 'n sronan bhi cho cam 

A chuir nan deann ratreut orra, 

Gun an cruadul 'chur ri crann, 

'S i 'n fhoill a bh' ann 's gum b' eucorach. 

Bha 'n ruaig air rneirlich nam bo 

Feadh mointich agus fheitheachan ; 

J S bho nach d' fhuair iad mir de 'n fheoil 

Cha deanteadh leo car feuma dhuinn. 


Ghabh Mac-Coinnich an ratreut, 

'S a shluagh na dheigh chan f hanadh iad ; 

Dh' fhag e na Saihch ri feum, 

Mo thruaighe leir mar thachair dhaibh. 

Cba dainig 's cha dig am feasd 

Na bha cho deas 's cho tapaidh riu ; 

Cha do smaointich iad a gheilt 

Ged sgoilt na h-eich na claiginn ac'. 


Bhuail a gheilt Diuc Gordan og, 
'S air muillein oir chan fhanadh e. 

22 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dh' fhalbh a choisichean na dheigh, 

'S gur gann nach d' leum an t-anam asd' 

Mac-na-Ceirde le 'chuid each 

Bharr na lie cha d' chairich e ; 

'S na bh' ann de luchd an aodaich ghlais 

Gu 'n d' thar iad as le Hamilton. 


Clann-Fhionghain is cinneadh an righ 

Bu ruhi-chiatach le gealtachd iad ; 

B' fhearr leo an onair a chagjdh 

'S an stoc 's an ni dhol dachaidh leo. 

Gu 'n do sheas Clann-Ghriogair thall, 

'S bha fir Athuill cuide-riu ; 

Thainig Clann-Mhuirich nan ceann, 

'S bu neo-cheannsgalach a chaideachd iad. 


Mo cheud mallachd feiu 'n ur deigh, 

Gu leir o 'n rinneadh bnidseachd dhuibh 

A mhuinntir a bhuaileadh na speic 

Cha d' rinn iad feum 's cha d' fhurtaich oirnn, 

Ged a fhuair iad ordagh teann 

Tighinn an nail g' ar cuideachadh. 

'Cha b' ionghnadh ged a dh' fhalbh ar camp, 

J S a mheud 's a bh' ann de thrusdaraibh. 


Mo ghradh Clann-Domhnuill an fhroich, 

'S iad fhein nach d' aom ie gealtaireachd, 

An am direadh ris a mham 

Fhuair bhur namhaid faicinn dibh 

An am tarruinn bhur cuid lann 

Gum b' fhuaimear trom a chuapadaich, 

Fuil gu talamh 'ruith na deann ; 

'S gur h-iomad ceann a shracadh leibh. 


S ard a bhuidheann 'sheas a choir, 
'S nach d' rinn an cleoc ac' iomlaid riamh ; 
Bu leoghainn glmineach iad gun sgath 
Nuair dh' eireadh spairn na h-iorghuille. 
Thug iad buaidh air sluagh Righ Deors' 
Le comhrag mor, cruaidh, fear bhuilleach ; 

Old Gaelic Songs. 23 

'S mur biodh an Seanailear cho fann 
Cha d' fhag iad ceann air earrball diu. 


Buidheann eile Bha ro mh6r, 

'S nach robh fo chleoc na gealtaireachd ; 

Nan seasadh each mar bu choir 

Gu 'n d' fhag righ Deorsa Sasunn ac' ; 

lann-Ghilleain nach robh tais, 

Bu ghaisgich neartmhor, ainrneil iad. 

Nach dugadh troigh air an ais 

Ach a sior churas do Dhearganaich. 


Thug sibh orra tarsuinn as 
Le 'r lannaibh glas 's le 'r garbh bhuillibh, 
'S cuid nan sineadh air feur glas 
'S an claiginn air dhroch carbhaireachd, 
Bha larla Mharsal ann gu deas, 
Le thrupa seasmhach f ear-bhuilleach ; 
Chuir e eich righ Deors' an geilt, 
Is iomadh fear a mharbhadh diu. 


Chruinnich na bodaich gun bhaigh, 

Parlamaid de dh-eucoraich ; 

'S b' e an glaodh gach oidhch' is la 

Am bas 'thoirt do na reubaltaich 

Ach a chuid a chaidh do'n Fhraing, 

'S nach dig an nail 'chur faoilte oirnn, 

An deoch s' air an slainte ni mi ol, 

'S tha mi fo bhron bhon sgaoil sibh bhuainn. 

In one version of the song the last half of the 14th stanza is 
given as follows : 

Clann-Ghilleain nach robh tais, 
'S a bhratach a Braidalbainn leo, 
Nach drachaidh riamh troigh air ais, 
Ach 'sior chur as do Dhearganaich. 


As ino chadal cha bheag m' airsneal, 
'S gun thu again, 'ghraidh, 

24 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'N deigh dhoruh t' fhaicinn aim an aisling 

Eadar mo dha laimh. 

Sud an aisling bho nach ceart mi, 

Chuir as domh gu brath ; 

Tha saighed Chupid gu geur, guineach, 

Annam-s' ann an sas. 

This song will be found in Gillies's Collection at page 148. 
The name of the author is not given in that work. I have some 
reason for believing that it was composed by a son of Macdonald 
of Dalness, Mac Fear Dhail-an-Easa. ^ 

Do Mhoir nighean Fear Thir-na-Drise, le mac Fear Dhail-an-Easa 


Mor nigh'n Raonuill, cailin gaolach, 
'Bu ghlan taobh is braighe ! 
Mor nigh'n Raonuill. 


Leannan fleasgaich 'bu leoir deisead 
'S beag nach dug i 'm bas dhomh ! 


Cha V ann air cladach nan cuan 
Bu dual dhuit bhi ga t' arach. 


Ach an tir nan gallan uaine 
'M bi boc ruadh 's a mhathair. 


'S truagh nach robh mis' is ise 
'Nis ann san ait ud ; 


'N leaba lair no 'n seomhar mullaich 
Far nach cluinneadh each sinn. 


Far an cluinnteadh guth a choillich 
Ann san doire lamh-ruinn. 

Old Gaelic Songs. 25. 


Do Dhonnachadh Ban Caimbal, Tighearna Loch-nan-Eala, 
le Seumas Mac-Gillesheathanaich, Bard Loch-nan-Eala. 

Fonn ; S tearc an diugh mo chuis ghaire. 

Gu ma beairteach, sean, buadhmhor, 
An t-og uasal gun mheang. 
Chaidh mi shealltuinn Di-luain ort, 
; S faoilidh 'fhuair mi do chainnt. 
Sar cheannard an t-sluaigh thu 
Gan cur suas ann an camp. 
'S ann dhuit bu duthchas an cruadal 
An am bualadh nan lann. 


'S e mo run an t-og sgiobalt, 
Gan dig biodag ghlan, ur, 
Agus paidhir mhath phiostal 
Mar-ri crios nam ball dluth. 
Claidheabh caol nan tri faobhar 
Air do thaobh 'chosnadh cliu. 
'S tu 'n leoghann armailteach, guineach,, 
'Bhuidhneadh urram 's gach cuis. 


'S ann ad cheann a bha mhisneach, 
'S ann ad chridhe 'bha 'n reachd, 
'S ann ad shuil a bha 'n leirsinn, 
'S ann ad bheul a bha 'n smachd. 
Ri am cruadail no feuma 
'S ann ort a dheireadh an gart. 
'S beag an t-ionghuadh leinn fein sud,, 
'S iomhaigh threun ort le tlachd. 


Marcaich sunndach nan seang each 
A b' aotrom, eangarra leum ; 
Cruidheach, aigeannach, meanmnach,, 
A b' fhior mearachdasach ceum. 
Nuair bhiodh each a dol tharta, 
'S iad le gealtachd gun fheum, 

26 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dh' fhanadh tus' ann ad dhiollaid 
Air thus nan clad a chur reis. 


Mac an athar 'bha cliniteach, 
'S a bha fiughantach, fial ; 
An am seasamh na curtach 
'Bhuidhneadh cuis am measg chiad ; 
Uasal iriseal, baigheil, 
'S e sud a b' abhuist da Mamh ; 
Ursann-chatha nan Gaidheal 
Anns gach aite gan dion. 


(.uidheam buaidh agus piseach 
Air an t-sliochd 'thig ad dheigh ; 
S.ioghal fad 'an deagh onair, 
Agus sonas d' a reir, 
Air oighr' og Loch-nan -Eala 
Nach coisinn sgainneal no beum, 
'S t' aghaidh aobhach is t' ailleachd 
A toirt barr air a cheil'. 


S mor an onair dha d' dhuthaich, 
'S mor an cliu dha d' chuid tuath, 
Fhad 's a dh' fhuir'eas tu aca 
Bhi ga t' fhaicinn cor uair, 
Nuair a theid thu do Shasunn 
Thu thigh'nn dachaidh le buaidh, 
'S gun do leithid ri 'fhaotuinn 
Air aon taobh dhinn mu 'n cuairt. 


<*un do leithid ri fhaotuinn 
Ann an aobhachd 's an dreach 
Thall no bhos mu na caoiltean ; 
Bu tu 'n laoch 'dhol am mach. 
'S beag an t-ionghnadh gu cinnteach 
Thu bhi rioghail ad bheachd, 
'S gur a h-ogh' thu do Dhughall 
'Bhuidhneadh cuis an am feachd. 

Old Gaelic Songs. 


An am cogaidh no siochainnt, 
An am strithe no moid, 
Gur a h-iomadh fear ullamh 
'Bhiodh le ghunn', ann ad choir. 
Nuair a ghlaoidhteadh lann thana 
Bhiodh i 'n tarruinn 's gach dorn 
'S ann le cruadal do ghaisge 
'Chluinnteadh sracadh air feoil. 

'S nearachd baintighearna pheucach 
Dha 'n doir thu speis mar mhnaoi phosd', 
'S gach buaidh, th' ort mar threun fhear, 
'S gach bith tha 'g eiridh mu d' shroin. 
Eadar braighe Loch-Eite, 
Do theaghlach fhein, 's Loch-an-Eoin, 
Dha 'in bu duthchas an Eala 
'S i bho shean ann ad choir. 


Calpa cruinn ann an osan, 
Troigh nach dochinn am mang, 
Ceum ealamh neo-thuisleach, 
Beul nach sgudalach cainnt, 
Suil a 's aoibheile sealladh 
Fo chaol mhala gun sgraing ; 
Is gruaidh dhearg mar na caorann 
Air bharr aotrom nan crann. 

Bha thu ardanach, beachduil, 
Rioghail, reachdmhor gun taing; 
Seasmhach, cinnteach, ri t' fhacal 
Ged nach glacadh tu peann, 
'S mor an iiaisle 's an t-urram 
Tha air tuinneadh ad chom ; 
'S ard a chraobh as an d' fhas thu, 
'S gur a laidir a bonn. 


Sin a chraobh a's mor onair, 
'S lionmhor sonas is buaidh ; 

L>S Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'Chraobh a's mor onair, 
Is boidhche cum' agus snuadh. 
Tha slat am bliadhna na mullach 
A's laidir fullang ri fuachd, 
'S a barr air lubadh le ubhlan, 
'S cha b'e 'sugradh am buain. 


Na faiceam t' fhearann gun oigbre, 
No do bhaintighearn' ri Oron, 
Tha gach duin' aim an gaol ort 
Le meud t' aoigh 's tu cho og, 
Biodh do mbac ann ad dheoghainn 
Gabhail liubhairt sa choir, 
Fear an ionad an athar, 
'S gach aon rathail ri bheo. 


'S truagh nach b' urrainn mi innse 
Na tha 'm inntinn gu leir 
Mu gach buaidh a tha fas ort 
Ann an abhachd 'san ceill. 
Tha gach math ort ri innse, 
Sin an fhirinn gun bhreug, 
Mar chleiteig shneachda ri gaillinn 
'Tigh'nn o anail nan speur. 

6th DECEMBER, 1894. 

At this -meeting the Secretary intimated the receipt of <5 
from Mr John Mackay, C.E,, Hereford, and a copy of "Kachdraidh 
Beatha Chriosd " from the author, Rev. John Macrury, Snizort, as. 
a donation towards the Society's Library. On the motion of Mr 
Alex. Mackenzie, seconded by Mr John Macdonald, the meeting 
unanimously agreed to record the Society's loss and deep regret 
at the death of the Rev. A. D. Mackenzie, Free Church minister 
of Kilmorack, and the Rev. Charles Macdonald, Moidart both 
valuable members of the Society. Thereafter the Secretary read 
a paper contributed by Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of 
Drummond, entitled " Minor Highland Families, No. 8 The 
Macgillivrays of Dunmaglass." Mr Mackintosh's paper was as 
follows : 

Minor Highland Families. 29 


Of old the Clan Chattan were reckoned under two classes, 
the first, nine in number, sprung of the Chiefs own house, and the 
second, those who had incorporated or attached themselves though 
of other names than that of Mackintosh, being sixteen in number. 
Amongst the latter class the Macgillivrays stood the first and 
-oldest, for according to the Croy M.S. history, compiled by the 
Rev. Andrew Macphail, who, it is understood, died minister of 
Boleskine, 1608, it is said that about the year 1268 "Gillivray, 
the progenitor of the Clan vie Gillivray, took protection and 
dependence for himself and posterity of this Farquhard Mac- 
kintosh " (5th of Mackintosh, who was killed in 1274, aged 36). 

Sir Eneas Mackintosh in his manuscript, privately printed in 
1892 by the present 28th of Mackintosh, gives the date as 1271. 

The origin of the name may be looked for in the fourth or last 
part of Macgillivray, for invariably in Gaelic, and in my younger 
days, elderly people of good position put the weight on this last 
portion, and not, as is now invariably done in English, on the 

Betwixt this first and Duncan (whom I placed as 1st of Dun- 
maglass), who lived about 1500, is a long step, and it is not the 
purpose of these papers to do other, as a rule, than deal with facts. 

It may be taken for granted that the Macgillivrays came from 
the West, and have been settled at Dunmaglass, in the braes of 
Strathnairn, and along the valley of Nairn, long before we know 
their authentic history. The descent of the Dunmaglass family 
was reckoned very good in the Highlands, and the late John 
Lachlan the 10th, who was exceedingly proud, and in his later 
days a very reserved man, used in his cups to declare " he was 
descended of kings." 

Dunmaglass, at least one half of it, belonged to the old Thanes 
of Kalder, and is first mentioned in the service of Donald as heir 
to his father, Andrew, in the lands in the year 1414. The other 
half belonged to a family named Menzies in Aberdeenshire, was 
bargained to be disposed of in 1419 to the above Donald Kalder, 
who in 1421 gets a disposition of them, described as lying within the 
barony of Kerdale. This was one of the extensive baronies be- 
longing to the old estate and earldom of Moray, but the estate 
having been broken up, the barony has been long in desuetude. 
The estate of Dunmaglass proper, now in one, was of considerable 
value, being rated as a four pound land of old extent, equivalent 

:50 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

t- two freeholds, and is generally found described in connection 
with the lands of Invermarkie in Badenoch. 

It is worth while for a moment referring to the lands of Inver- 
markie. Like the adjoining lands to the south of Kinrara and 
Dalnavert, these lands belonged in superiority to the old Earls of 
Ross, afterwards to the Lords of the Isles, Earls of Ross. 

Invermarkie came to the Kalders through the marriage of 
William, apparent of Kalder, with Mariotta-de-Sutherland about 
1458. The peculiarity about Invermarkie is this, that to this day 
it has never dropped out of the Cawdor titles, though it has 
caased to be possessed by the family for over 300 years. 

In 1619 the then Campbell of Calder was either anxious to 
reclaim it, or desired to know how matters stood with the Marquis 
of Huntly, Lord of Badenoch, and requested his agent in Edin- 
burgh, Mr John Mowatt, to look into the matter, who on 4th 
April says to Calder in reply " I have spoken my Lord Enzie, 
who assures me that his predecessors has the lands of Innermarkie 
by your predecessors' resignation, and promised to let me see the 
rights thereof." 

Again, when Angus Macpherson of the " Sliochd Gillies" got 
his first charter of any lands from George, Marquis Huntly, with 
consent of Lady Anna Campbell, his spouse, and George, Lord 
Gordon, his son, by disposition and feu contract, dated 22nd 
October, 1627, there was included "the lands of Innermarkie (a 
davoch of land) with the mill thereof comprehending the lauds of 
Achnisuchan, alias Aultguisachan, with the mill croft of Inner- 
markie," and from that date Innermarkie has been possessed by 
the Invereshies, first under the family of Huntly, and now under 
the Crown. 

There is evidence of a Farquhar-vic-Couchie styled "of Dunma- 
glass" in the year 1547. I purpose beginning with his father 

I. DUNCAN MACGILLIVRAY, born say about 1500 his son 

II. FARQUHAR, found in 1547 his son 

III. ALLISTER MORE, designated as " Allister-vic-Farquhar-vic- 
Couquhe of Dunmaglass," ?s found on 28th May, 1578, having 
some connection with a William-vic-Farquhar and Maggie Kar, 
spouse of Provost William Cuthbert of Inverness. 

By 160y, when the great bond of union among the Clan 
Chattan was feigned, Allister was dead, and his son Farquhar, a 
minor, for those who signed for the clan Vic-Gillivray were 
Malcolm-vic-Bean in Dalcrombie, Ewen vic-Ewen in Aberchalder, 
and Duncan-vic-Farquhar in Dunmaglass. It would also seem 
that the clan was at this time pretty numerous and influential, 

Minor Highland Families. 31 

and the leader Malcolm, son of Bean Macgillivray in Dalcrombie. 
In 1593 mention is made of Duncan Macgillivray in Dunmaglass. 

IV. FARQUHAR. By the year 1620, and probably at a much 
earlier period, Dunmaglass had been wadsetted by the family of 
Calder to the Macgillivrays for 1000 merks. In that year Calder 
was much pinched, and on Dunmaglass was to be raised other 
2000 merks, or sold for 5000 merks. 

The first alternative was meantime adopted, 2000 merks eiked 
in 1622, but the pecuniary pressure still continuing, the estate 
was feued to Dunmaglass. 

It may here be noted that, though lying in the centre almost 
of Inverness-shire, these lands were by an arbitrary exercise of 
power by the Scottish Parliament, annexed at Calder's instance, to 
the County of Nairn. 

By feu contract dated at Inverness 4th April, 1626, John 
Campbell, fiar of Calder, with consent of Sir John Campbell, life- 
renter of Calder, his father, feued to Farquhard Mackallister of 
Downmaglasch, his heirs male and assignees whomsoever, " All 
and singular the lands and towns of Downmaglasch, extending to 
a four pound land of old extent, with the mill, multures, mill 
lands, and sequels of the same, together with houses, biggings,. 
tofts, crofts, woods, fishings, sheallings, grazings, parts pendicles, 
and pertinents thereof, lying within the Barony of Calder and 
Sheriffdom of Nairn." The feu-duty is <16 Scots, with obligation 
when required to appear and accompany at his own expense the 
lairds of Calder in their progress and journey between Calder and 
Innerlochie or Rannoch ; to assemble in all lawful conventions, 
armings, and royal combats, and attend three Head Baron Courts 
to be held in the Castle of Calder. This destination to heirs 
male was kept up, and under it Neil, the 12th laird, succeeded to 

Dunmaglass, the earliest possession of the family, is a fine 
estate of some 1 7,000 acres, with a great mass of tableland on the 
summit, from whence the waters run eastward to the Findhorn, 
and westward to the Farigaig. The old mansion house was built 
towards the close of the seventeenth century, and is picturesquely 
situated on a level ground, the western sides dropping rapidly to 
the river. I have transversed the estate, but though it is 
impossible to forget this fact, I can hardly say I saw it, from an 
unlucky losing of our way. Some 30 years ago, accompanied by 
a youth, now a respected solicitor in a northern city, we started 
from Dunachton in Badenoch, not too early in the day. We had 
no proper guide, and in place of ascending from Newtonniore, went 

32 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

up the Guynack, and to avoid the precipitous heads which guard 
the sources of the Dulnan river, kept to the south and \vest, 
undergoing many obstacles before we reached the north or 
Findhorn watershed. Then, thinking we had gone too far south 
or west, we kept to the right, and got into the deep and 
precipitous valley, through which runs the Crodach, after being 
strengthened by the waters of Elrick, which we had much 
difficulty in crossing. By the time we reached the Findhorn it 
was getting late, and we were pretty well used up. A guide here 
met us by appointment, who hurried us up a stream, but by the 
time we reached the table-land it was dark ; the wind rose, and 
there having been dry weather for some time, the gigantic scoops 
of the many peat bogs had also become dry, and sent forth 
quantities of dust. Our guide, wishing to make a bee line, went 
apparently straight on through the vast table-land, broken up by 
deep dry bogs the real " Mona-liath" and on coming to the 
head of a streamlet we thought we were all right, and joyfully 
descended. Our guide soon discovered that it \vas not the stream 
intended, but we had descended very considerably before he 
became satisfied we were going backwards to the Findhorn. 
Nothing for it but to re-ascend, cross dry bog after bog, while the 
wind rushing along in severe gusts, shaking the bog sides, raising 
quantities of peat dust, and roaring like thunder, was enough with 
our extreme fatigue to depress us to the lowest. At length we 
came to a stream undoubtedly going in the right direction, and 
the guide being now sure of his ground, kindled a fire, round 
which we lay. My companion and I could go no further, so the 
guide said he would leave us, and go to Mr Angus Macgillivray 
of the Mains of Dunmaglass for assistance, but we were on no 
account to sleep. In a couple of hours assistance came, and we 
were helped to a point where a cart was waiting, driven as far 
over the dry moor as was possible, in which we were ingloriously 
carried, more dead than alive, to the old house of Dunmaglass 
about 2 A.M. Mr Angus's kindness I will never forget, nor the 
grin which generally pervaded his honest face when we happened 
to meet occasionally in after years, and he remembered my first 
and last visit to Dunmaglass. 

Farquhar-vic-Allister also acquired the half of the lands of 
Culclachie from the Earl of Moray, and was infeft 20th December, 
1631. He had one sister, Catherine, married to William Mackin- 
tosh in Elrig, who is infeft therein 28th September, 1638. 1 
have not observed to whom Farquhar was himself married, but he 
had a numerous issue Alexander, Donald, William, Bean, 

Minor Highland Families. 33 

Lachlan, and at least one daughter, Catherine, first married as his 
second wife to William Mackintosh of Aberarder in 1653, and 
after, in 1663, to Martin Macgillivray of Aberchalder. Farquhar's 
eldest son, Alexander, married Agnes Mackintosh, second daughter 
of William Mackintosh of Kellachie. Farquhar settled on the 
young couple, by charter, dated Inverness, '27th June, 1643, the 
two Western Ploughs of Dunmaglass. 

The Cullodens did not find Allister a good neighbour at 
Culclachie, for by Bond registered 24th June, 1654, Kellachie 
binds himself as cautioner in a law-burrows that his son-in-law 
Allister will keep the peace towards Duncan Forbes of Culloden, 
John fiar thereof, and their tenants. 

Allister died young, and his widow married, in 1657, William 
Forbes of Skellater. 

Farquhar's second son, Donald, commonly called " the Tutor 
of Dunmaglass," married Marie Mackintosh, and was founder of 
the Dalcrombie and Letterchullen family, and his descendant in 
the fifth degree, Neil, ultimately succeeded to Dunmaglass. His 
relict, Marie, married, in 1677, Alex. Mackintosh of Easter Urquill. 

William, the third son of Farquhar, married Mary Macbean, 
,and settled in Lairgs, and was great grandfather to the Rev. 
Lachlan Macgillivray, who was the unsuccessful competitor for 
the Dunmaglass estates destined to heirs male, 40 years ago. In 
1644 there were three Macgillivrays heritors in Daviot and 
Dunlichity, viz.: Allister-vic-Farquhar, Malcolm-vic-Bean, and 
Duncan Macgillivray, and in the time of this Farquhar the Mac- 
gillivrays were perhaps at the height of their power, he himself having 
a deal of property, his sons Donald and William establishing a good 
footing for themselves, and his kinsman at Easter Aberchalder 
representing an old branch of the house. Not much is known of his 
sons, Bean and Lachlan, further than that Bean left a son, John, and 
reputation not yet forgotten of being a good fighting man, badly 
wounded and mutilated in one of the numerous Clan Chattan 
expeditions to Lochaber. Farquhar generally signed not Mac- 
gillivray but " Mackallister," of which he seemed proud. He 
would appear also to have got, in the year 1654, assignation of a 
heritable tack of the two plough lands of Wester Lairgs and 
Easter Gask by James, Earl of Moray, to Hector Mackintosh in 
1632, with the usual obligation from the Earl to grant a feu 
charter when he could ; but in consequence of the quarrels and 
ill-feeling tetwixt the Morays, and the Cawdors the over superiors 
holding the crown, it was not until after the battle of Culloden 
.and the passing of the Jurisdictions Acts that the Moray Strath- 


34 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

uairu heritable tacksmen got their holdings converted into feus, 
without Lord Moray incurring the danger of recognition. 

Farquhar and his two sons sign the Clan Chattan Bond of 
1664, which as an important historic document is now given. It 
is signed by 28 gentlemen, heads of families, including 9 Mac- 
phersons, 5 Mackintoshes, 4 Farqunarsons, 3 Macgillivrays,, 
2 Mac beans, 2 Shaws, 1 Macqueeu, and two others by initials : 
" Wee under subscryt, Gentlemen of the name of Clan Chattan, 
in obedience to His Majesty's authority and letters of concurrence 
granted by the Lords of His Majesty's <Privie Council in favour of 
Lauchlan Mackintoshie of Torcastle, our chieffe, against Evan 
Cameron of Lochyield, and certain others of the name of Clan 
Cameron, and for the love and favour we bear to the said Lauchlan, 
Doe hereby faithfully promitt and engage ourselves everie one of 
us for himself and those under his power, in case the prementioiial 
Evan Cameron and those of his kin, now rebells, do not agree with 
the said Lauchlan anent their present differs and controversies,, 
before tne third day of February next ensuing, that then and in 
that case, we shall immediately thereafter upon the said Lauchlan 
his call, rise with, fortify, concurr and assist the said Lauchlan in 
the prosecution of the commission granted against the said Evan 
to the uttermost of our power, with all those of our respective 
friends followers and dependers, whom we may stopp or lett, or 
who will any way be counselled and advised by us to that effect. 
Now thereto we faithfully engage ourselves upon our reputation 
and creclite and the faith and truth in our bodies by these sub- 
scribed at Kincairne the nineteent day of November and year of 
God sexteen hundred sextie and four years." 

Farquhar died about 1678. His eldest son Allister died 
young, and by law the active management of affairs fell to the 
uncle Donald (though the grandfather was alive), so well known 
as the tutor, a man of considerable talent and business capacity. 
The date of Alexander's death is uncertain, but before 1658, and 
besides his son and successor, he had at least one daughter, 
Margaret, who married in 1670 William Eraser, apparent of 
Meikle Garth. 

VI. FARQUHAR, only son of Allister, is first noticed in March, 
1658, when he gets a precept on the half of Culclachie from 
Alexander, Earl of Moray, as heir to his father Alexander, son.e 
time fiar of Dunmaglass. 

On his marriage in 1681 with Emilia Steuart of Newtoune, he 
settled a jointure on her, furth of Wester Lairgs, Easter Gask, 
and Easter Culclachie. By this lady, who seems to have been. 

Minor Highland Families- 35 

shrewd and sensible, her letters to Inverness merchants sometimes 
from Dunmaglass, sometimes from Gask, always wanting " a good 
pennyworth," Dunmaglass had a numerous family Farquhar, who- 
succeeded, Captain William, Donald, Janet, Magdalene, and Anna, 
all married. This Dunmaglass sold the half of Culclachie, and 
(iied early in 1711, his widow surviving until about 1730. 

In 1685 Farquhar is named a Commissioner of Supply by Act 
of Parliament, and the district continued so disturbed after the 
Revolution, that in 1691 Sir Hugh Campbell of Cawdor recom- 
mended 100 soldiers to be stationed for a time at Dunmaglass as 
one convenient centre. It was in time of this Farquhar, styled 
" Fiadhaich," as he was of haughty and turbulent disposition,, 
that the question of marches at Lairgs with The Mackintosh 
arose, when a witness who swore falsely for Dunmaglass, 
convicted of perjury on the spot, was buried alive, and the place 
of burial is still pointed out. 

Captain William, the second son, married Janet Mackintosh, 
daughter of Angus Mackintosh of Kellachie, contract dated i)th 
February, 1714, and had a son, Lachlan of Georgia, commonly 
called Lachlan u liath," afterwards noticed, also a daughter, Jean 
" Roy," whose descendants succeeded to Faillie, Inverernie, and 
Wester Gask. David or Donald married Miss Macgillivray of Mid 
Leys, and was father of Mr Alex. Macgillivray of Ballintruau,. 
whose male issue are extinct. 

Of Farquhar's three daughters, Janet became Mrs Donald Mac- 
gillivray of Dalcrombie, which Donald was by the Hanoverians 
killed near Leys the afternoon of the 16th April, 1746 ; Magdalen, 
afterwards Mrs Mackintosh of Holm ; and Ann, Mrs Fraser of 

Of this Captain William Ban, who died in 1734, the following 
curious ancedote was recorded by the late Mr Simon F. Mackintosh 
of Fair in the year 1835 : 

" A Fairy Tale The Captain Ban. About the beginning of 
the 18th century thc^wite of one of the tenants in Druim-a-ghauiia, 
upon the estate of Dunmaglass, had been carried away by the 
fairies, and was said to have been taken by them into a small 
hillock in that neighbourhood calltd ' Tomnashangan,' or the 
Ants Hill, and had been absent from her family for nearly a y.;.v 
No person, however, could tell exactly where she was, although 
their suspicions fell upon the fairies, and that she must be wuh 
them in the hill now mentioned. Several attempts were madr to 
discover her, and none were bold enough to encounter the residence, 
oi:' the fairies. At last Captain William Macgillivray, alias the. 

36 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Captain Baan, i.e., 'White,' son of Farquhar Macgillivray of 
Dunmaglass, who was resident at the spot, volunteered his 
services to endeavour to get the woman released from her long 
captivity in the ' Fairy Hill ' if it was possible that she could be 
there. The Captain being informed that John Dim (M'Chuile) 
Macqueen of Pollachaik was familiar and on good terms with the 
fairies, and that he had wax candles in which there was a 
particular virtue, he despatched a messenger to the far-famed 
Pollachaik for one of his candles in ord^* to assist him in discover- 
ing the lost female. The candle was given by Pollachaik to the 
messenger, who got particular instructions never to look behind 
him until he reached home, otherwise something might happen to 
him, and he would lose the candle. This person heard so much 
noise like that of horses and carriages, accompanied with music 
and loud cries of ' Catch him, catch him ' at Craiganuan, near 
Moyhall, that he was so frightened that he could not help looking 
behind him, and although he saw nothing, he lost the candle, then 
he made the best of his way home. A second courier was 
despatched, who received another candle, and the same injunctions. 
In coming through the same place as the former, he withstood 
all the noise he heard there, but at a place near Farr 
it was ten times worse, and, not being able to withstand 
taking a peep over his shoulder, he lost the object of his 
message. In this predicament it became necessary to send 
a third bearer to Pollachaik for another candle, which he 
also got, but on coming to the River Findhorn, it was so large 
that he could not cross, so that he was obliged to go back to the 
Laird for his advice, who, upon coming down to the bank of the 
river, desired the man to throw a stone upon the opposite side of 
the river, and no sooner was this done than much to~his astonish- 
meut he found himself also there. He then proceeded upon his 
journey, and having taken a different route across the hills, even 
here he occasionally heard considerable noise, but he had the 
courage never to look behind him, and accordingly he put the 
virtued candle into the hands of the Captain Baan. 

" The Captain being now possessed of Pollochaik's wax candle, 
he one evening approached the hillock, and having discovered 
where the entry was, he entered the passage to the fairy habi- 
tation, and passing a press in the entrance, it is said that the 
cmdle immediately lighted of its own accord, and he discovered 
that the good lady, the object of his mission, was busily engaged 
in a reel, and the whole party singing and dancing, and dressed in 
neat green jackets, bedgowns, &c. The Captain took her out of 

Minor Highland Families- 37 

one of the reels, and upon obtaining the open air, he told her how 
very unhappy her husband and friends were at the length of time 
she had been absent from them, but the woman had been so 
enchanted and enraptured with the society she had been in, that 
she seemed to think she had been only absent one night, instead 
of a year, from her own house. When the Captain brought her 
off with him, the fairies were so enraged that they said ' they 
would keep him in view.' The woman was brought to her dis- 
consolate husband, and the candle was faithfully preserved in the 
family for successive generations in order to keep off all fairies, 
witches, brownies and water kelpies in all time to come. 

" Some time afterwards, as the Captain was riding home at 
night by the west end of Lochduntelchaig, he was attacked and 
severely beaten by some people he could not recognise. He got 
home to his own house, but never recovered, and it is said that 
the mare he rode was worse to him than even those that attacked 
him ; so he ordered her to be shot the following day. He was 
granduncle to the present John Lachlan Macgillivray of Dunrna- 

"The third and successful bearer of the candle was Archibald 
Macgillivray in , alias ' Gillespic Luath,' i.e., Swift 

or fast Archibald. He was granduncle to Archibald Macgillivray, 
now tenant in Dunmaglass. Pollochaik said to him that he would 
have preferred the Captain to have sent for his fold of cattle than 
for the candle. 

"The candle was -in possession of some of her descendants 
about thirty years ago, but was afterwards taken away by some 
idle boys. 

" The woman lived to such an old age that some of the people 
still in life (1835) remember quite well having seen her shearing the 
corn upon her knees, in consequence of her having lost the use of 
her lower limbs." 

VII. FARQUHAR, eldest son of the above Farquhar, succeeded 
in 1714, and entered into marriage articles with Elizabeth Mack- 
intosh, daughter of William Mackintosh of Aberarder, upon 8th 
September, 1716, but the contract is not dated till 8th May, 1717, 
the lady not being infeft in Dunmaglass, Lairg, and Gask until 
29th July, 1730, after her mother-in-law's death. 

The Macgillivrays took an active part in the rising of 1715, 
the laird and his brother William being captain and lieutenant 
respectively in the Clan Chattan regiment, while there was 
another, Farquhar Macgillivray, also lieutenant. 

33 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

The two former at least got off, but one John Macgillivray, 
apparently of good standing, was tried and convicted on 25th 
January, and executed at Wigan, 10th February, 1716. 

This Farquhar was a leading man under Lachlan and William 
Mackintosh, Chiefs of Clan Phattan, and did much to bring about 
the agreement with the Macphersons in the year 1724. He 
received from Lachlan Mackintosh a feu of the Davoch of 
Bochruben, in Dores, which was parted with to Fraser of Bochruben, 
the dominium utile ultimately falling in^> the hands of William 
Fraser of Balnain, whose posterity still retain it. 

He was an excellent man of business, but interfering too much 
with other people's affairs, his own became involved. He died in 
1740, but his wife, Elizabeth Mackintosh, is found as late as 1769. 
He had several children Alexander, who succeeded, William, who 
succeeded his brother, John, Farquhar, and Donald, also Anne. 
Catherine, and Elizabeth. With the exception of William, none 
left issue. 

VIII. ALEXANDER, the eldest son, succeeded, and was exten- 
sively engaged, like his uncle, Captain William, and other members 
of his family, in cattle dealing, being known as " Alastair Ruadh 
na Feille." The reason for his selection by Lady Mackintosh to 
command the Clan Chattan, in preference to Duncan Mackintosh 
of Castle Leathers, the natural leader failing the Chief, I have 
given elsewhere. That he was well worthy of the honour is 
undoubted, and, as he lived at Easter Gask. the tradition that 
many of the men who fought at Culloden sharpened their swords 
on the singular druidical standing stone or slab near Easter Gask, 
deserves some weight. His gallant conduct on that fatal day, and 
his death on the field at the well still bearing his name, is well 

It was part of the cruel system of the conquerors not to allow 
the bodies of the Highlanders killed in battle be carried away for 
interment by their friends, and consequently they were buried at 
Culloden in trenches, the green covering of which is still to be 
seen. The ordinary place of sepulture of the Dunmaglass family 
was and is at Dunlichity, but Dunmagl ass's friends feared the 
publicity of re-interring the remains so far distant, and buried 
them quietly at Petty. It is recorded in the Farr Collections : 

"In the church-yard of Petty lies the Chief of the Mac- 
gillivrays, who was killed at the Battle of Culloden. After the 
battle, his body, with 50 others, was thrown into a large pit, and 
so far did the King's troops carry their animosity, that for six 
weeks they guarded the field, and would not grant the poor consola- 

Minor Highland Families. 39 

tion to the friends of men who had fought so well of placing their 
mangled carcases in their family burying-places. However, at the 
end of that time, the relations of Dunmaglass dug up the pit 
where his body had been laid, and, when taken up, was perfectly 
ifresh, and the wound, which was through his heart, bled anew. 
The place they had been thrown into being a moss, is supposed 
to be the cause of the corpse remaining uncorrupted. The inter- 
.ment was private." 

Alexander Macgillivray died unmarried, but Mr Bain of Nairn, 
:in his interesting history of Nairnshire lately published, says he 
was engaged to Elizabeth Campbell, only child of Duncan Campbell, 
eldest son of Sir Archibald Campbell of Climes, and that they met 
the morning of the battle. That they did, is not likely, but the 
engagement may be true. 

1 visited the ruined chapel of Barevan three years ago, and 
found Miss Campbell's grave, and by the kindness of a good clans- 
man, Mr William Mackintosh, farmer at Barevan, received a copy 
of the inscription, which run thus : " Under this stone are 
interred the remains of Duncan Campbell of Chinese, and Eliza- 
beth, his only child, by Catherine, daughter of John Trotter of 
Morton Hall, Esq. He died 23rd January, 1796, aged 75 ; and 
she, 22nd August, 1746, aged 24. D.C., E.C." Supposing the 
story true, she only survived the death of her betrothed about 
four months. Her father, Duncan Campbell, was accessory to the 
i-ising of 1715, and had to live abroad several years, where he 
married, his wife dying young at Rome. I possess some of 
Elizabeth's letters, written in a beautiful clear hand, of elegant 
diction, showing unusual cleverness and dignity in one so young, 
I give one of them, dated 22nd September, 1743, which will be 
.found very interesting, addressed to one of her aunts, who has 
pinned to the letter this memorandum " Betty Campbell, dyed 
rthe 19th August, 1746. Lady Mclntosh, dyed in the year 1750." 
Probably the date in the inscription 22nd August, 1746 refers 
to her interment. Lord Lovat, in 1737, refers to Elizabeth in a 
lletter to her father " It is only to serve you and Miss Campbell, 
;your daughter, whose education should now be taken care of, and 
if she be like her mother, or your mother, she will be an honour to 
.the family of Calder, and to the name of Campbell." 

" Dr. Aunt, As I have been in a sort of a hurry ever since I 
[parted with you, and there was no occasion offerd for my writing 
you, nor had I anything to say that was of such consequence as 
was worth while sending apurpose, I hope youl therefor excuse 

40 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

my neglecting it till now; I am just now busy paying my visits 
in this country, for as I have fixed the month of October for my 
going South, I have but little time to lose. My Father and I was- 
lately at Kilraick, where we found Lady Geddes bedfast, and was 
so most part of the time we stayd ; I made your complements and 
apology to her. We hear that she is now much better. I should 
be glad your visiting at Castle Downie and Moyhall happened at 
a time with mine, as I intend being at both places soon, for I 
must make the best use of my time I can. But if it was never so 
short I shall endeavour to see you and ask your commands, as it 
was not only my promise, but is my inclination. When you see 
ffairfield next, if he talks to you of the subject you spoke 
to me about when last at Budgate, which I then told you 
my plain and positive sentiments of (as I did himself 
before) that you might put a stop as soon as possible to a thing 
it was to no purpose to follow, and which I thought was enough 
to hinder his pursuing or entertaining any thoughts of that kind, 
nor can I say anything plainer or stronger, without being rude or 
uncivil, which is what I should be sorry be forced to, as 'tis what 
I do not incline being to any gentleman ; and if he does, let him 
blame himself for, I have done all I can to prevent it, and you 
may assure him from me that he needs never expect a better 
answer from me than what he has already got, nor will I 
ever talk of any particular objections, for that would be entering 
on a subject that I would scarce know where to begin or end, so- 
that the sooner he gives over any thoughts of that kind, he will 
certainly find it the better for himself. Make my compliments 
acceptable to Duncan, and believe me to be, dr. aunt, your affc. 
niece and humble servt., " ELIZ. CAMPBELL." 

"Chines, Sept. 22nd, 1743. 

" This I hope you'l have occasion to call being over cautious 
(after what I before told you) in stopping what is already ended,, 
but there can be no harm in what I write to you, so may make 
what use of it you please." 

The Macgillivrays fell in scores at Culloden, including of officers; 
at least one colonel, one major, two captains, and one lieutenant. 

The mismanagement on the Prince's side was dreadful. 
Although the Camerons were put on the right, the Macdonalds, 
instead of sulking and allowing themselves to be shot down, ought 
to have behaved like Malcolm, 10th Mackintosh at Harlaw. Mal- 
colm was much displeased at being displaced from the right, but 
accepting the position of left, declared he would make the left the 

Minor Highland Families. 41 

real right in course of the action, and did so fighting with his 
followers like heroes. 

" Wherever Mackintosh sits, that is the head of table." 

Then, again, the poor Mackintoshes were in the centre at 
Culloden, but kept back notwithstanding a galling fire, until in 
desperation they broke forward in fierce charge too late to be of 
material service, the commanders well knowing that with High- 
landers, victory only followed an early and impetuous attack on 
their part. 

IX. WILLIAM MACGILLIVRAY, a minor, succeeded his brother 
Alexander, and to a very embarrassed estate. William Mackin- 
tosh, younger of Holm, took charge, and even a new suit of 
clothes for the boy required grave consideration. He afterwards, 
through the interest of Lady Mackintosh, got a captaincy in the 
Gordon Regiment, commanded by Colonel Staats Long-Morris, and 
though a vassal, most meanly prevented by the Earl of Moray in 
1757 from raising if he could recruits out of the Lordship?? of 
Petty and Stratherne. He saw a good deal of service at home 
and abroad, and was a most kind-hearted man in his family. He 
got Cask and Lairgs converted into feu holdings, acquired Faillie 
from Captain Macbean, and the half of Inverarnie, originally part 
of the Kilravock estate, but occupied for generations by the 
Macphails. His three brothers, John, Farquhar, and Donald, had 
to make their way in the world, and the two younger died without 
issue. John, who died at sea in the end of 1787, amassed a con- 
siderable fortune, which ultimately fell to John, the 10th, and 
set up the family in a strong position. Neither of the three 
sisters, Anne, Elizabeth, or Catherine, married, the eldest, Anne, 
managing the involved affairs of her brother and nephew up to her 
death in June, 1790, with great shrewdness and determination. 
Bishop Forbes speaks highly during his northern itineraries of the 
Dunmaglass ladies. 

From Captain Macgillivray's numerous letters I select two as. 
specimens, both being addressed to Provost John Mackintosh of 
Inverness : 

" London, Feby. 16th, 1779. 

" D. Sir, I wish you joy, nay double joy, both on account 
of your marriage with my cousin (Miss Mackintosh, Aberarder),. 
and the addition she has made to your family. She was but a 
child when I left the country, but promised a great sweetness of 
temper, a very necessary ingredient in the matrimonial state ; and 
I know your own disposition so well that I cannot hesitate to- 
pronounce you a happy couple. I flattered myself that I would 

42 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

have the pleasure of seeing your happiness, but my fortune seems 
now to place that at a distance, as I expect ^oon to return to 
Georgia, to recover as much of my property as possible. I hope 
it. is by this time in the hands of the Kings Troops, without which 
I have no business there, as I am under sentence of death should 
they catch me. Please to remember me most affectionately to 
Mrs Mackintosh, your sisters and brother-in-law, and believe me 
to be sincerely, D. sir, } our friend and humble servant. 


" D. Sir, Tho' I hear but seldom from your quarter, yet you 
and all my friends are as near my heart as ever, and every favour- 
able account warms my heart with joy ; but the present occasion 
of my writing you is of a different nature, and tho' expected, dis- 
tressing, and must be felt like everything of the kind for a length 
of time. I mean my good-sister Katy's death. She deserved weU 
of me and everybody. Her change must be happy. Her illness 
and death, and the illness of my other sister Betty, must be 
attended with expense. I wrote my sister Anny (who must have 
suffered much on this occasion) some considerable time ago to 
draw on me for what they might stand in need of ; but as I have 
had no intimation on that head, I shall be much obliged to you if 
you will let my sister Anny have what money s.he may want, and 
by the first opportunity acquaint her accordingly. Upon letting 
me know the amount, I will order your bill to be answered at 

" Mrs Macgillivray joins in wishing you and yours, and our 
friends and acquaintance about the Ness many merry and happy 
returns of the season. I am, D. sir, yours sincerely, 

"Plymouth Citadel, Jan. 19th, 1781." 

Captain William died in 1783 leaving two children, John 
Lachlan and Barbara Anne, both very young. 

X. JOHN LACHLAN MACGILLIVRAY. Itis affairs as well as those 
of his uncle, John Macgillivray of Georgia, were carefully 
administered in his minority chiefly by " Lachlan lia," son of 
Captain Baan, who had returned and spent his old age chiefly 
twixt Dunmaglass and Inverness. The great black wood of Faillie 
was planted, and two further acquisitions of land were made, viz., 
Wester Gask from Col. Duncan Macpherson, and Easter Aber- 
chalder, the old possession of an important branch of the 

In June, 1800, John's only sister, Barbara, a lady of great 
beauty, died in Edinburgh, her fortune falling to her brother, who, 

Minor Highland Families. 43 

at his majority, was possessed not only of a good deal of money, 
T^ut also of the seven estates of Dunmaglass, Easter Aberchalder, 
Wester Gask, Easter Gask, Faillie, Wester Lairgs, and half of 

A sum of .39 19s was laid out in repairing the tornb of Dun- 
lichity after Miss Barbara Macgillivray's death, in 1800. 

John Lachlan possessed the estate for nearly 70 years (1783- 
1852), and his rental at his accession was about ,225, rising by 
the year 1803 to 543 12s 8d, as follows, from 71 tenants : 

Robert M'Gillivray, Kenmore 4 16 

Alex. M'Tavish, ditto 4 16 

David Smith, ditto ... . 4 16 

Ewen M'Gillivray, ditto ' 9 12 

William M'Gillivray, Balnoidan 3 10 

Mary M'Gillivray, widow of Don. Macpherson, or 

his son 3 10 

Finlay M'Lean, Balnoidan 2 10 

John MacTavish and WiJ Ham Douglass, Keppoch... 700 

Duncan M'Tavish, Balnalick 3 10 

Widow Rose, ditto 900 

Jno. Mackintosh, Balnacharnish 400 

Malcolm M'Gillivray there 400 

Donald M'Gillivray there 400 

The Heirs of Miss Annie M'Gillivray for the winter- 
ing of the Mains from Whity., 1802, to ditto, 
1803 20 

Sum rent, Easter Aberchalder... 85 


Eobt. Campbell, The Mains 70 

Jno. M'Gillivray and Jno. Smith, Dummacline ... 21 6 

Jno. Moir M'Gillivray, Balnagaich ... 17 7 4 

The Heirs of Donald M'Gillivray, Dalscoilt and 

Dalnagoup 21 2 9 

Jno. M'Bean and John Mackintosh, Miltown ... 10 19 6 
Willm. Smith, Donald M'Gillivray, ar.d Wm. 

M'Bean, Croachy 13 6 

Wm. Graham, Croft of Croachy 19 1 

Donald M'Gillivray, Sack 713 

Dun. M'Gillivray, Drumchline 200 

Jno. Duncan and Wm. M'Gillivray, Achloddan ... 13 10 7 

Sum rent of Dunmaglass ...178 8 3 

44 Gaelic Society of Inverness 


Angus M'Phail 570 

Jno. Bain, Dunbreck ... 406 

Mr Mackintosh of Holm, for part of Mains ... 880 

Angus M'Culloch 600 

Mr Mackintosh of Fair, for grazing of Shalvanach... 500 

Sum rent of half of Invererny... 2815 6 


Donald Climes ............... 420 

Farquhar Smith ...... ......... 470 

John M'Gillivray ............... 470 

Alex. M'Kenzie ............... 1 15 

John M'Phail .............. 500 

Duncan Shaw ... ... ... ... ... 500 

Win. Davidson ............... 600 

Donald Mackenzie ............... 600 

John Macgregor and John Smith .. ... ... 600 

Sum rent of Wester Gask ... 4211 

The Heirs of Donald Hood for Mains 31 10 

Widow Duncan M'Kintosh 416 

Alex. M'Gillivray, Shanval 46-6 

Alex. Smith, Smith 400 

Alex. M'Gillivray, Caulan 1 17 '0 

Donald M'Intosh Miller, for part of Faillic ... 7 10 

Angus M 'Bean, Dal vellan 700 

John Shaw 576 

Sum rent of Easter Gask ... 65 12 6 


Alex. Fraser, Balnaluick ............ 8 8 2 

Colin M 'Arthur, Dyster ............ 450 

Alex. Munro, Mains ... ......... 28 11 2 

Alex. Fraser, Midtown ............ 476 

William Macbeath ............ ... 7 12 6 

Alex. Macgillivray, Achlaschylye ......... 9 15 

Alex. Macgregor, do". ..... . ... ..... 5 10 

William Shaw ............... 2 18 6 

Evan Macdonald, Torveneach ......... 466 

Wm. Macgillivray, West End ......... 140 

Sum rent of Faillie ... ...7618 4J 

Minor Highland Families. 45 


Alex. M'Gillivray, Ballindruan 870 

Wm. Davidson or Dean ... ... ... ... 6 1 8 

James Sutherland 6 19 1 

Widow Ann M'Gillivray or Mackintosh 5 4 3 

Donald Caldcr 300 

Wm. M'Bean, Meikle Miln 10 8 

Don. Macgillivray, Cabrach ... ... ... ... 2 17 

Lieut. M'Gillivray, Dell of Lairg 2310 

Sum rent of Lairgs ... ....66 7 

In 1819 the rent from 59 tenants was as follows : 

Easter Aberchalder, 13 tenants 26614 9| 

Dunmaglass, from 13 tenants ... ... ... 453 8 9 

Faillie, 6 tenants 1611010 

Easter Gask, 9 tenants 159 15 

Wester Gask, 9 tenants 10250 

Inverernie, 4 tenants ... ... ... ... 70 3 

Wester Lairgs, 5 tenants 16013 If 

Total from 59 tenants ...137210 6J 

and it will be kept in view that shooting rents had not begun. 
John Lachlan was very wild in his youth, and Sheriff Fraser, 
Farraline, one of the guardians, had some difficulty in com- 
pounding for his pranks at the College of St Andrews in 1797. 
lie purchased a cornetcy in the 16th Li^ht Dragoons in 1800 for 
735, and a lieutenancy in same regiment in 1802 for 262 10s, 
and was very extravagant. Fortunately he left the army about 
1805, when he married Miss Jane Walcott of Inverness, a lady 
who had much influence with him for good, though some of his 
exploits with old Culloden and other " Braves" of the day are still 
remembered. They lived at Culduthel, Drummond, travelled 
abroad a good deal, but had no regular residence except Inver- 
ness. After his wife's death Dunmaglass led a somewhat retired 
life, and many will recollect his fine military carriage, and how 
well he sat on horseback as he took his daily rides in Inverness. 

During his long possession of the estates it says much lor him 
that he only had three factors all the time 1st, Mr Campbell 
Mackintosh; 2nd, Mr Robert Lagan ; and 3rd, Mr Alex. Grant. 
His father-in-law, Captain Thomas Walcott, thus refers to him in 
his holograph will of 1807 : " Item to John Macgillivray, my own 

46 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

desk that I write at, with the old stock buckle that he gave me.. 
Had I anything worth his acceptance I should out of gratitude 
have left it to him." His rental at his death was only 1496 4s, 
which included 180 for shootings. This was less than in 1819, 
but the tenants had reduced from 71 in 1803 to 59, and in 185 k 
numbered less than half, or 35. 

He died in 1852, possessed of some .40,000 of money, which 
was destined by will, including a year's rent to all the tenants ; 
also the heritable estates undisposed ^f, but free and unburdened. 
A severe competition arose as to all the estates except one, that of 
Easter Aberchalder, there being no doubt that it fell to the Hon. John 
Macgillivray, of Upper Canada, heir male of line of Donald, Tutor 
of Dunmaglass, and eldest surviving son of Farquhar Macgillivray 
of Dalcrombie. Dunmaglass, Easter Gask, and Wester Lairgs. 
were destined to heirs male, and the contest was betwixt the said 
John Macgillivray, who dying, his son Neil John, descendant of 
Donald Uie Tutor, on the one part, and the Rev. Lachlan Mac- 
urillivray, descendant of William of Lairg, brother of Donald the 
Tutor, on the other part, the question being whether Donald or 
William was the elder, determined in favour of Neil John, Faillie, 
Wester Gask and Inverernie were destined to " the heirs and 
assignees of Clan Chattan," and competed for by the said Neil on 
the one part, and the descendants of Jean " Roy," sister of 
Lachlan " Lia," and daughter of Captain William Ban Macgillivray^ 
all before mentioned, on the other part, the latter contending that,, 
being the nearest heirs of John Lachlan, the limitation to being 
of Clan Chattan was inoperative. Judgment was given for them, 
and shortly after these estates were sold. 

XI. The Honourable JOHN succeeded as heir male to John 
Lachlan in 1852, and died in 1855. 

XII. NEIL JOHN, who succeeded his father in Aberchalder, and 
made good his claims to Dunmaglass, Easter Gask, and Wester 
Lairgs. He sold the last two estates, and was succeeded in 
I hmmftglaaa and Easter Aberchalder by his son. 

XIII. JOHN W. MACGILLIVRAY, the present Dunmaglass, in whose 
time, alas, the remaining estates had to be compulsorily sold, and 
the whole of the once important estates of the Magillivrays are lost 
to the Clan Chattan, except Wester Lairgs, which is the property 
of The Mackintosh. Though the Macgillivrays are now dissociated 
from all landed connection with Strathnairn, their memory ou^Iit 
not juid is not likely to fade, for Iain Douu Mac Sheumais-vic- 
Dhaibhidh trulv said of the name and race 

Oidhche Chaflainn ann an Tigh a' Chaiptein. 47 

" Gradh do 'n droing luainneach, 
Mhuirneach, ai[>eannach ur 
Acfuinneach, chluiteach 
Mhuirnicht' th' aguinn an Cuirt 
An fhine nach crion 's a shiolaich 
Fad' as gach taobh 
Far Braighich an Duin 
D' an tug mi mo run a chaoidh. 

Air chaismeachd luath, 

Thig do chairdean gu tuath o dheas : 

Fir ghlinne 's glain snuadh, 

Thig a Muile nan stuadh-bheann glas, 

Peighinn-a'-Ghaeil le sluagh 

Thig thar bhuinne nan cuaintean bras ; 

Bi ; dh iad again n 's an uair 

Mu 'm bi mulad no gruaimean ort." 

23rd JANUARY, 1894. 

At this meeting the nomination of office-bearers for 1894 took 
place. Afterwards Mr Alexander Macbain, M.A., read a Gaelic 
dialogue, entitled " Oidhche Challainn aim an tigh a' Chaiptein," 
contributed by the Rev. D. Machines, Obari. Mr Machines' paper 
iv as as follows : 


An Caiptean Failt is furan oirbh. Tha mi toilicht' 'ur 
faichm cruinn an so aon uair eile is nach 'eil a h-aon air ionndraiii 
de iia bha c6mhla ribh air a' challainn mu dheireadh. Tha mi, 
mar is abhaist dhomh, a' toirt gu 'r n-ionnsuidh na chuidicheas 
sibh gu 'n oidhchc 'chur seachad gu sunndach. Tha mi 'n dochas 
gu 'n ceadaichear dhuinn iomadh coinneamh de 'n t-seorsa so, agus 
nach dealaich sinn ri 'cheile an da la so. Bithidh fiughair again 
'ur coinneachadh am maireach le 'r camain air an fhaiche so shios. 

Rob Chailein So! pp ! lionaibh 'ur gloineachan los gu 'n 61 
sinn dcoch-slaiiit' a' Chaiptein, a tha cho suairce, fialaidh. ririu. 

Donnchadh Saighdear Is airidh an Caiptean air gach urram 
is urrainn duinn-ue 'chur air. Na 'm faiceadh sibh e 'n la 'chuir 
sinn an tuichcadh air na Frangaich l)hiodh sibh moiteil as. 

48 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Celt Dhughaill Dh' fhaodadh sibh cunntas a thoirt air mar 

Donnchadh Saighdear Ni mi sin ma bhitheas a' chuideachd 
toileach eisdeachd rium. 

Rob Chailein Cha 'n 'eil sean no 6g '11 ar rneasg leis nach bu 
mhath do sgeul a chluinntimi. Rach air t-aghaidh, 'fhir mo 

Donnchaidh Saighdear Beagau laithean roimh bhlar ainmeil 
Shalamanca bha leth-cheud dhinn^air an cur air falbh fo 'n 
Chaiptean gu beul glinne 'bha niu mhile gu leth o 'n arm a chum 
faire 'dheanamh air na Frangaich Bha 'n gleann so mu dha 
uihil' air fad, agus bha rathad mor a' dol troimhe. Oidhche de na 
h-oidhchean, 's mi mach air freiceadan, thainig bhorbhan gu m' 
chluasan a chuir gu sinaointean mi Chrom mi sios is chuir mi 
mo chluas ris an lar dh' fheuch am faighinn a mach gu d' e 'bu 
chiall da. Mar bha mi 's an t-suidheachadh so co 'thainig orm 
ach an Caiptean. "Am bheil gach ni ceart an so?" thuirt e. 
** Air learn," arsa mi-fhein, " gu bheil mi 'cluinntinn farum chas a' 
tighinn a nios an gleann." Chuir an Caiptean a' chluas ris an lar 
agus thuirt e, " Tha thu ceart." Bha bristeadh na fair' annaig an 
am so, agus chuir an Caiptean a ghloin-amhairc ri 'shuil, agus thuirt 
e, " Tha na Frangaich a' tighinn : greasamaid a dh' ionnsuidh nan 
gillean." An uair a rainig shm ar cairtealan aig beul a' ghlinne 
chaidh na gillean a chruiuneachadh, agus labhair an Caiptean 
rinn mar so, " Tha na Frangaich a' tighinn, agus feumaidh sinn 
coinneamh smiorail a thoirt doibh. Cuimhnichibh air na daoine 
o 'n d' thainig sibh is air aix arm d' am buin sibh." Gun tuilleadh 
a radh mu'n chuis thug e sinn gu doire dhluth a bha goirid o 'n 
rathad mh6r, agus leig sinn sinn-fhei^ 'a ar sineadh an sin gun 
smid as ar beoil. Cha robh sinn fada 'n bLi an uair a chunnaic 
sinn na Frangaich a' tighinn a nios an rat Lad gu faruniach, 
spaireiseach, neo-umhaileach mar gu'm bu leo-fhein an duthaich is 
nach robh namhaid mar fhichead mile dhoibh. Dh' iarr an 
Caiptean oirnn ami an guth losal a bhi deas gu losgadh orra 
'nuair a bheireadh esan sanus dhuinn. Bha iad a' tighinn na bu 
dluithe 's na bu dluithe oirnn. An uair a bha iad mu'r coinneamh 
air an rathad mh6r thuirt an Caiptean, " A nis, 'illean, thugaibh 
dairireach dhoibh." Loisg sinn orra is thuit na h-uibhir dhiubh. 
Au sin ghlaodh an Caiptean, " 'N am badaibh leis a ghunna- 
bhiodaig." Thog sinn iolach dulain is ghreas sinn g' an 

Rob Chailein An do sheas iad roimhibh ? 

Donnchadh Saighdear Cha do sheas. "Tha na Frangaich 
math air teine gus an teannar goirid uapa," mar thuirt am bard. 

Oidhche Cha/lainn ann an Tigh a' Chaiptein. 49 

Theich iad cho luath 's a bheireadh an casan as iad, a' tilgeil an 
,airm uapa thall 's a bhos. Smuainich mi aig an am air briathran 
Dhonnchaidh Bhain mu bhlar na h-Eaglaise Brice : 

" Mar gu 'n rachadh cu ri caoirich 
'S iad 'n an ruith air aodann glirme, 
'S ann mar sin a ghabh iad sgaoileadh 
Air an taobh air an robh sinn-ne." 

Lean sinn na Frangaich, agus sguirs sinn romhainn iad gus an do 
chuir sinn as a' ghleann iad.* An uair a thill sinn a nios an gleann 
thainig sinn air na daoine a thuit. A' chuid dhinbh a bha marbh 
thiodhlaic sinn taobh an rathaid. Ghabh sinn deagh churam 
dhiubh-san a bha lebinte. 

Ceit Dhughaill Bu deisinneach an obair ris an robh sibh. 

Donnachadh Saighdear Bha i mar sin, ach cha robh atharrach 
againn air. Bha ceartas air ar taobh. Bha'n sloightear Bonipart 
a' dusgadh iorghuill is a' deanamh m6ran croin air feadh na Roinn 
Eorpa, agus chuir Breatann Mor roimpe a' chiosnachadh. Shoir- 
bhich leatha mu deireadh an deigh iomadh blair fuilteich. 

Rob Chailein Moran taing dhuit, a Dhonnchaidh. Is math a 
dh' innis thu do sgeul. Fhad 's a bhios leithid a' Chaiptein J s do 
leithid fhein lionmhor 's an duthaich cha 'n eagal dhi. An cluLin 
thu mi, 'ille bhig. Thoir an so am botul dubh 's na gloineachan, 
agus feuch nach leig thu leo tuiteam. Sin thu, mo ghille gasda ! 
Lionaibh 'ur gloineachan i 61amaid deoch-slaint' a Chaiptein. 
Eireamaid uile 'n ar seasamh. Deoch-slaint' a' Chaiptein, an 
duine cneasda, nach fhaca duine bochd riamh an eigin gu'n fhuas- 
gladh air. A nis o'n rinn sinn ar dleasnas 's a chuis so bheir 
Alastair m6r dhuinn oran. 

Alastair Mor Feuchaidh mi ris, ach tha eagal orm nach teid 
.agam air leis a' chnatan dhraghail so 'th' orm. 

Air mios deireannach an fhoghair 
An dara la, 's math mo chuimhne, 
Ghluais na Breatannaich bho'n fhaiche 
Dh' ionnsuidh tachairt ris na naimhdean 
Thug Abercrombaidh taobh na mara dhiubh 
Le 'chanain 's mi 'g an cluinntinn : 
Bha foirne aig Mur gu daingeann 
'Cumail aingil ris na Frangaich. 

'Cha 'n urril.m domh dol na's fhaide. Feuiuaidh sibh rno leisgeul a 
-ghabh ail. 'S ann da rireadh a tha mi. 


50 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ceit Dhugaill Ma's ann mar sin a tha chuis cha 'n 'eil comas - 
air. So, a Roib, thugaibh-sa sgeul dhuinn. 'S iomadh aite 's an robh 
sibh an Albainn, an Sasunn, 's an Eirinn. Cha 'n 'eil fhios again 
nach robh sibh ann an North Faroe fhein. 

Rolt Chailein Cha innis mi breug. Bha 'm athair a' seoladh 
do North Faroe le fear R\sa, ach cha robh mise riamh ann. 

Buachaill 'S ann a dh' \nnseadh dhomh-sa gu'n robh sibh< 
greis d' 'ur n-iiine 'giiilan dhaoine dubfca bho Africa gu Portigil. 

Rob Chailein Co thuirt sin riut ? 

Buachaill Thuirt Iain ban. 

Rob Chailein 'S math dha nach 'eil e 'n so an nochd. Arrt 
bumailear ! Bha e tri miosan 's an Taobh Tuath ag iasgacb 
sgadain, is tha e 'm barail gu bheil e 'n a Ian she61adair. Na 'n 
cuirteadh air an stiuir e eadar so is Eirinn cha 'n 'eil fhios c' ait 
an ruigeadh e. 

A chuideachd uile 'Ur sgeul, a Roib. 

Rob Chailein A. muigh 's a rnach, ach na cuireadh duine 
grabadh orm. 

Buachaill Bithidh sinn-ne cho bidh ri luch fo sp6ig a chait. 

Rob Chailein Bha mi 'n sud uair a' dol o Ghlascho do dh' 
aon de na h-eileanan tuathach le luchd mine. Leis gur h-e 'n 
samhradh a bh' ann chaidh sinn mu'n cuairt na Maoile, ghabhi 
sinn troimh Chaol He, agus ghleidh sinn a mach culaobh Mhuile. 
Mar bha sinn a' dluthachadh air an eilean thbisich e air seideadhi 
gu gailbheach, agus b' eigin duinn tarruing air falbh rathad tire 
moire. Air lorn eigin fhuair sinn a stigh do chamus tearuinte, 
fasgach bha 'n sin. An uair a bha na siuil air am pasgadh is gach 
ball air an ceartachadh chaidh mi-fh&n air tir a dh' fhaicinn fir- 
eolais a bha 's an aite. Mar bha mi 'gabhail a dh' ionnsuidhi 
a thigh, co 'thachair orm ach an Guidsear m6r, air am bheil sibh. 
uile eolaeh ! Bu luaithe deoch na sgeul. Chaidh sinn a stigh 
agus ghlaodh e leth-bhotach branndaidh. Dh' fhe6raich mi-fheini 
dheth cia-mar a bha '11 duthaich a' tighinn ris. " Cha 'n 'eil ach 
meadhonach," ars' esan. " Cha 'n eil an sluagh 's an run a's 
fhearr do'm leithid-sa. Thachair dhomh o cheann ghoirid a bhi 
dol seachad air beul glinne am nieadhon na duthcha, 'n uair a 
mhothaich mi ceithir no coig de bhothain aig a cheann shuas. 
dheth is smiiid as gach aon diubh. Bhuail e mi gu'n gabhainn 
ceum suas an gleann dh' fheuch gu de 'n se6rsa thighean a bh' 
annta. Mar bha mi dluthachadh orra gu de 'chunnaic mi ach 
sgaotb bhan a' tighinn ann am choinneamh ! ' Is leam-sa e,' arsa 
e dhiubh : ' Cha leat ach leam-sa', arsa te eile. Leis a so chuir 
e dhiubh a lamhan mu m' mhuineal, glac dithis eile mo ghaird- 

Oidhche uhallainn ann an Tlgh a' Chaiptein. 51 

eanan, agus leag each mi. An sin shuidh dithis air mo ghairdeanan 
te air gach taobh dhiom ; shuidh dithis eile air mo chasan. Dh' 
oiltich mi. Ged is iomadh cunnart 's an robh mi cha robh riamh 
uiread eagail orm. Ghuidh mi orra mo leigeil as, ach cha d' thug 
iad feart orm car tamuill. An aite sin 's ann a th6isich iad air 
figheadh stocainean thairis orm is air mo chaineadh 's mo smadath. 
Mu dheireadh an deigh dhomh gealltainn nach rachainn tuilleadh 
a ch6ir a ghlinne 's nach cuirinn tuilleadh dragh orra leig iad mu'r 
sgaoil mi. 

Ceit Dhughaill Gabhadh esan sin. Bithidh greis mu'n teid 
e 'ris a mheachranachd air daoine bochda nach bi 'gabhail gnoth- 
aich ris. 

Rob Chailein An ann mar sin a tha thu 'bruidhinn mu 
dhuine cho c6ir 's a bha riamh ann an duthaich. Na'm biodh 
na ceart mhnathan ud agam-sa air b6rd a Mhary Ann cha mise 
Rob Chailein mur cuirinn na h-iarainn orra 's mur cuirinn air 
aran is uisge iad fad thri laithean. 

Alastair MOT Mo naire ! mo naire, a Roib. Ann an mar sin 
a tha sibh a' bruidhinn mu na mnathan gaolach ? 

Rob Chailein Tha uiread mheas agam air na mnathan gaolach 
no gradhach no ionmhuinn 's a th' agad-sa no aig fear eile, ach so 
their mi gu'n do thoill na mnathan ud sea miosan am priosan airson 
droch ionnsuidh a thoirt air fear-gnothaich an righ. 

Ceit Diighaill Mur sguir thu ni sinn ort mar rinneadh air a 

Rob Chailein Ma tha sibh uil' air an aon sgeul tha cho math 
dhomh-sa 'bhi samhach. 

Ceit Dhughaill Tha sin dlreach cho math dhuit. 

Rob Chailein Gu de 'th' air tighinn air na caileagan laghach, 
gaolach 1 Cha chualas facal as am beul an nochd. Tha iad cho 
malda, narach 's ged b'e la 'm bainnse 'bhiodh ann. Mur fhaigh 
sinn bruidhinn asda cha 'n fhaod e 'bhi nach fhaigh sinn orain. 

Ceit Dhughaill Nach ann agad a tha 'n aghaidh an deigh 
na rinn thu 'g an smadadh is 'g an caineadh. 

Rob Chailein Nach cuist thu, 'Cheit ? D'e 'n canran a th* 
air t-aire 1 So, a Mhairi Ailein, thoir dhuinn " Tha 'tighinn 
fodham eiridh." Is gasda 'sheinn thu e air an deireadh-bhuana 
mu dheireadh. 

Mairi Ailein Nach feuch sibh Se6naid an so ; 'si 's fhearr 
air na h-6rain na mise. 

Rob Chailein 'S cinn teach mi nach diiilt Seonaid dhuinn 
6ran, ach 's e t-oran-sa tha dhith oirnn an drast. 

Mairi Ailein Very ivell, mata. 

52 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Rob ChaileinComa, leat a' Beurla, 'ghraidh : tha Ghaidhlig 
uasal na 's Ie6ir air ar son-ne. Rach air t-aghaidh. 
Mairi Ailein Cuidichibh mi leis an fhonn 

Fonn" Tha 'tighinn fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha 'tighinn fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha 'tighinn fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha 'tighinn fodham eiridh. 

" Sid an t-slainte churamach 
Olamaid gu sunndach i, 
Deoch-slaint' an Ailein Mhuideartaich, 
Mo dhurachd dhuit gu 'n eirich. 
Tha 'tighinn, etc. 

" Ged a bhiodh tu fada uam 
Dh' eireadh sunnd is aigne orm, 
'Nuair chluinntinn sgeul a b' aite learn 
Air gaisgeach nan gniomh euchdach 
Tha 'tighinn, etc. 

" 'S iomadh maighdean bharrasach, 
Dha 'm maith a thig an earrasaid 
Eadar Baile Mhanaich 
Is Caolas Bharraidh 'n deigh ort. 
Tha 'tighinn, etc. 

^giobair ri \k gaillin thu 
A. jjbladh cuian nam marunnan, 
A bheireadh long gu calachan 
Le spionnadh glac do threun fhear. 
Tha 'tighinn, etc." 

Dh' fhag mi na h-uibhir a rannan a mach air eagal gu'm fasadh 
sibh sglth de 'n 6ran. 

Rob Chailein&g\t\\ de 'n 6ran ! Sinn nach fhasadh a's thusa 
J g a sheinn. Do shlaint', a Mairi. 'S iomadh cearn 's an robh mi 
an Alba, an Sasunn, 's an Eirinn, ach cha chuala mi fhathast 
6rain cho taitneach ris na h orain Ghaidhlig, is cha 'n fhaca mi 
fhathast caileagan cho aoidheil, tlachdmhor air gach d6igh ri 
caileagan na Gaidhealtachd. 

An Gaidheal o 'n blcaile mhbr Fhuair mi toil-inntinn a nochd 
nach di-chuimhnich mi 'chlisgeadh. Chaidh mise 'thogail 's a 
Ghalldachd, ach tha 'Ghaidhlig a cheart cho deas learn ris a' 
Bheurla. Bha deagh chothrom agam air a h-ionnsachadh. Cha 

Oidche Challainn ann an Tigh a' Chaiptein. 53 

robh facal Beurla aig mo mhathair is cha robh ach prabarsaich 
Beurla aig m' athair. Uime sin 's i Ghaidhlig a bha daonan air a 
bruidhinn 's an tigh againn. B'abhaist do m' athair 's do m' 
mathair a bhi 'g innseadh dhuinn sgeulachdan Gaidhealach. 's na 
h-oichean geamhraidh. 'S iad leabhraichean Gaidhlig a b' abhaist 
doibh a bhi leughadh am Biobull Gaidhlig, an Teachdaire Gaidh- 
ealach, leabhraichean Bhuinnean, gu S6nraichte Turns a' Chrlosd- 
aidh, laoidhean Dhugaill Bhuchanan, agus an leithidibh sin. Tha 
iomadh bliadhna o 'n dh' fhalbh iadsan, ach cha do dhi-chuimhnich 
rnise 'chanain a chleachd iadsan no an t-ionnsachadh a fhuair mi 
uapa. Tha iomadh cuimhneachan agam oira ris nach dealaich mi 
fhad 's is be6 mi. 'S ann diubh sin anart-buird a rinn mo 
mhathair mu 'n d' fhag i Ghaidhealtachd agus deise de dh' aodach 
Gaidhealach a fhuairjm' athair o 'n tailleir J s a bhail 'ud shuas. 
Tha an t-anart-buird air a thoirt a mach a h-uile bliadhn' air la 
na bliadhn' uire, agus air a chur seachad a ris 'n uair a bhios sinn 
u' dol a luidhe. 

Niall Ruadh A mach o thighean nan uaislean agus na 
caileagaii a bhios a' dol do 'n Ghalldachd airson cosnaidh, cha 'n 
fhaicear 's an duthaich so ach aodaicbean a tha air an deanamh 
aig an tigh. Ar n-anairtean-biiird, ar searadairean, ar leintean, ar 
deiseachan, a h-uile snichdean a tha sinn a' caitheamh, 's ami 
aig an tigh a tha iad air an deanamh. Tha 'n lion 's an olainn 
againn-fhein. Tha ar mnathan 'g an sniomh, tha 'n figheadair a' 
deanamh aodaich dhiubh, agus tha 'n tailleir 'g an cumadh 's 'g am 
fuaghal. Na'm biodh marsantan Ghlascho an eisimeil na diithcha 
so air son margaidh d' am bathar cha b' fhada sheasadh iad. 

Rob Chailein Tha 'n t-am dhuinn dealachadh. Tha e leth- 
uair an deigh deich uairean. Oidhche mhath leibh, a mhuinntir 
mo ghraidh. Aig Ni Math tha brath an coinnich sin uile an so 
am feasda tuilleadh. 

30th JANUARY, 1895. 

At this meeting office-bearers for 1895 were elected, and Mr 
George Macleod, fishmonger, Church Street, was elected a member 
of the Society. The paper for the evening was contributed by 
Rev. D. J. Macdonald, Killean, Kintyre, entitled "Jottings, 
Legendary, Antiquarian, and Topographical, from West Kintyve," 
Mr Macdonald's paper was as follows : 

54 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


The peninsula of Kintyre seems to have formed in bygone 
times a battle-ground on which contending races and clans strove 
for supremacy. It was rich, and therefore coveted, land. That 
it was much exposed to invasion maybe inferred from the number 
of " duns," or forts, that are scattered ^iroughout its extent. We 
are only immediately concerned with that stretch of the west 
coast of Kintyre included in the united parishes of Killean and 
Kilchenzie. Within these limits the following "duns," or forts, 
are to be found, nor do they exhaust the whole number : 

Dim Domhnuill (Donald's fort). 

Dun na farnhair (Giants' fort). 

Dun Cachaileith Mhicheil (The fort of Michael's gate). 

An Caisteil (The castle). 

Dun Chill-a-Ghruir (The fort of the Church of the Creator). 

Dun Cheallaidh (The fort of the view (-sealladh), or of obser- 

Dun Chlaonghart (Claongart fort, or the fort of the sloping 
corn field). 

Dun Phuitechan (The fort of the little field of the point). 

Dim Dhaibhidh (David's fort). 

An Dun, at "Port an Duin" (The fort). 

Dim Chlachaig (The fort of the stoney place). 

Dim Ach-na-Ath (The fort of the kiln field). 

Dim Ach-a-loisginn (The fort of the pimpernel field). 

Dun Domhnuill was very strongly posted on the top of an 
isolated rocky mound of considerable height. The stones cast 
down from the top, when the fort was demolished, are strewn 
along two of its sides. On one side the ropk is sheer. Here, it is 
said, the chiefs of Macdonald, the ancient lords of Kintyre, held 
their courts of justice. Criminals condemned to death were hurled 
from the top of the " dun," and despatched by executioners at the 

I un Cheallaidh, which, judging from the ruins, seems to have 
been a spacious fort, stands on the sharp edge of the ridge over- 
looking the shore, right over the burying-ground of Paitean. It 
commands a magnificent prospect. Looking out on the Atlantic, 
there is to be seen, to the south, the Mull of Kintyre, and much 
of the land intervening ; to the west, the North of Ireland 
and the island of Rathlin ; towards the north-west, Islay and 

Jottings from West Kintyre. 55 

Jura ; and to the North, Kilberry, Knapdale, Scarba, and, beyond, 
the crest of Ben M6r in Mull. 

It is stated that the line of forts along the west of Kintyre 
was so constructed that one fort stood in sight of the other, so 
that a signal of danger could be flashed from one post to another 
almost instantaneously. 

Dun Phuitechan is situated on a detached rocky eminence 
between the public road and the sea, a short distance to the south 
of Bealach-an-t-suidhe, commonly written Ballochantee. The 
old road wound up the steep ascent in front of the village of Bal- 
lochantee, and kept the higher ground until within a few miles of 
Campbeltcwn. It was natural that the weary pedestrian should, 
on gaining the upper level, halt in order to draw breath. Hence 
the name Bealach-an-t-suidhe the sitting pass. 

The present road was made in 1777. It skirts the sea-shore 
for several miles. When excavating near Dun Phuitechan for 
forming the new road, seme workmen found gold rings or parts of 
:rings. The derivation of Putechan puzzled us for long, but we 
are now convinced that it is derived from " but" or " buta," a 
point or butt. A glance at the map will show that at Putechan 
the coast line runs out into a promontory. " Put" is Gaelic for 
push. Hence the word is connected with an object which 
projects like a point, as "put," a buoy, " butag," an oar- 
pin, "buta," butt, the point to be shot at in archery, also a 
promontory as in the butt of Lewis ("am buta Leodhasach "), 
" putan," a button. There are contiguous to Putechan, Putechan- 
tuy and Corrputechan. The former is behind Bealach an t-suidhe, 
with the same derivation for the last syllable. For Corr- 
putechan, the first syllable may be derived from "cor," a point or 
" coire," a circular hollow. Deep circular cuttings are made in 
the red sandstone by a stream that flows through the place. As 
for the last syllable in Putechan, it may be " achan," a little field. 

Dun Ach-na-h-ath, the fort of the kiln field. Limestone abounds 
in the neighbourhood, and the origin of this name may be traced 
to the existence of a lime kiln. As a stream, crossed by the road, 
runs along the foot of the field here, the proper derivation of the 
.name may be Ach-na-h-ath, the field of the stream. This fort 
stands on the farm of South Muasdale, strongly posted on a hill. 
It is very steep on the north. The ascent from the south and 
east is gradual. The lines showing the ground plan of the fort 
are distinctly marked. The foundation is formed of huge blocks 
of undressed stones. Magnificent views are to be seen from this 
dun and also from Dun Chlachaig. Almost all the forts may be 
said to have a more or less commanding site. A man living in 

56 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

this neighbourhood told us that when ploughing the field to the 
east of Dun Ach-na-h-ath he found two flint arrow heads, or spear 
heads. He kept them for some time. Ultimately he broke one 
of them, and used a fragment to strike sparks from with a steel 
for lighting his pipe. We are not, however, disposed to be hard 
upon our friend, for he rehearsed to us the following legends con- 
nected with Muasdale and Dun Ach-na-ath. We give them word, 
for word as spoken : + 


"Thanaig Gille-Cochull nan craiceann agus ghabh e fasdadh aig 
Fionn Mac Couil. B' fhabhaist do Fhionn fein an dun a ghleidh- 
eadh 's an oidhche. Cha robh e airson an dun earbsa ri Gille- 
Cochull nan craiceann, ach ghabh e as laimh e, agus " mhend" s& 
e cuidheachd. Mu mheadhon oidhche thanaig a nuas gleann eas- 
la-cruit', beist cosmhuil ri tarbh. Bho na gheall e bhi dileas do* 
Fhionn Mac Couil, sheas Gille-Cochull nan craiceann anns an 
dorus, agus cha leigeadh e steach a 'bheist. Chaidh iad a ghleac r 
agus thilg an Gille-Cochuill an ceann dheth leis a' chlaidheamlu 
'Nuair a bhuail e an ceann dheth, chaidh an ceann suas astar m6r 
agus phill e agus chaidh e air a' cv.cluinn a ris. Thilg e an ceann 
a ris dheth, agus dh' eirich e i.aar rinn e roimhe. Agus thanaig 
spiorad tharais air Gille-Cochull-nan-craiceann, agus thubhairt e 
ris, an claidheamh a chumail air an srnior. Rinn e sin, agus nuair 
a thainig an ceann a nuas a ris' bhuail e anns an talamh, agus 
mharbh Gille-Cochull-nan-craiceann a' bheist. Bha Mac Couill 
fuathasach buidheach dheth, agus thubhairt e gun o' rinn e ni 
nach deanadh e fein. Rinn e ceaimard dheth, agus dh' fhas e ni 
bu tapaidh na e fein." 1 

1 Since writing the above, I came across a reference bearing on this subject 
in Dr Hyde's learned " Story of Early Gaelic Literature," pp. 168-171. This- 
account makes Gille-Cochull-nan-craichean step out into the light of history. 
His name was Muircheartach or Murtag, and he was son of Niall Glun-dubh, 
or the black-kneed, who became high king of all Ireland. In the 10th or llth 
century, there flourished in Ireland a poet of the name of Cormac " an Eigeas," 
who celebrated the martial prowess of Muircheartach, or Murtag of the leather 
cloaks, " na gcochal croicinn." Muircheartach took Sitric, the Danish lord of 
Dublin, Ceallachan of Munster, the King of Leinster, and the Royal heir of 
Connacht as hostages. Cormac's poem of 556 lines begins : 

" A Mhuircheartaigh Mheic Neill nair 
Ro ghabhais gialla Inse-fail." 

" Muircheartach, son of noble Niall, 
Thou hast taken hostages of Inisfail." 

According to Dr Hyde, Fionn MacCool lived in the 3rd century, and on these 
data this legend of Gille-Cochull-nan-craichean affords an example of the way 
in which folk-lore annihilates time, and brings persons separated by many 
centuries together. 

Jottings from West Kintyre. 57 


" The lad of the skin mantle came and engaged himself with, 
Fionn MacCoul. Fionn himself was in the habit of watching the 
fort at night. He was not for entrusting the fort to the lad of 
the skin mantle. But he took it in hand, and managed it too. 
About midnight there came down the glen of the croft waterfall l 
a beast like a bull. As he had promised to be faithful to Fionn 
McacCoul, the lad of the skin mantle stood in the door, and would 
not let the beast get in. They fell a fighting, and the lad of the 
mantle struck the head off the beast with the sword. When he 
struck the head off it, the head went up a great distance, and 
came back and united to the body again. He struck the head off 
it again, and the head rose as it did before. And a spirit came 
over the lad of the skin mantle and said to him to keep the 
sword on the marrow. He did that, and when the head came 
down again it stuck in the ground, and the lad of the skin mantle 
slew the beast. Fionn MacCoul was vastly pleased with him. and' 
said that he had done a thing that he could not do himself. He 
made a captain of him, and he became abler than himself." 

Glac an t' saic bhain is a small valley behind Dun Ach-na-h-ath. 
The following legend is told about this place : 

"'S e spiorad a bha anns an t-sac bhan. Bha se bodaich dheug 
air Muasdal. Bha caile shearbhanta aig fear do na bodaich, agus . 
bha mac a bhodaich a' suiridhe orra. Bha "pic" mhor aig a 
mhathair do 'n nighinn. Cha robh fhios aice ciamar a fhaodaidh 
i cur as dhi. Bha iad a reic deoch thall anns a Chreagaii. Cha 
robh chridhe aig neach an bith dol thar Glaic an t-Saic bhain aon 
uair 's gun luigheadh a' ghrian. 'S e 'n doigh a ghabh a mhathair 
gu 'n cuireadh i do 'n Chreagan a dh' iarraidh deoch i. Nuair a 
bha i falbh fhuair i an luman a bha air an t-Shac bhan, agus 
sguab i leatha an luman. Bha fios aice nach b' urraitm e ni air 
bith a dheanamh gun i. Nuair a fhuair i an deoch anns a 
Chreagan thug i 'n luman do bhean an tigh Chainge. Thubhairt 
i rithe an luman a ghleadhadh gus a' saoladh i gu 'm bitheadh ise- 
aig an tigh. An sin thanaig an Sac ban gus an tigh Chainge, agus 
a h-uile buille a' bheireadh e do 'n dorus shaoileadh iad gu 'm 
briseadh e an tigh. Bha bhean a deanamh foidheinn feuch am 

1 " Eas la emit," we take it, is a form of " Eas na cruit," the waterfall 
of the croft. There is a beautiful waterfall here. 

58 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

bitheadh a chaile aig an tigh mu 'n toireadh i air aise a luman. 
Ach leis an uamhas a ghabh i, thilg i an lurnan air. Thuig an 
gille mar a bha na gnothuichean, agus bho e 's an dorus gus a 
ceapail. Bha 'n Sac ban aig an dorus cho luath rithe, aoh f huair 
esan a' slaodadh uaith'. An sin fhuair an Sac ban greim air a 
phlaide bha orra-se, agus leis an eagal a fhuair a chaile shiubhail 
i. Bha duileas mor air a bhean gu 'n d' rinn i lethid, agus cha d' 
fhuair i socair na dheidh sin." ^ 


"The White Sac was a spiric. There were sixteen old men in 
Muasdale. One of them had a servant girl, and the son of the 
old man was courting her. His mother took a great spite to the 
girl. She did not know how she might do away with her. They 
sold drink over at the Creggan. No one dared to cross the 
hollow of the White Sac once the sun set. The way that 
his mother took was that she should send her to the Creggan to 
fetch drink. When she (the girl) was going she found the shaggy 
covering that was on the White Sac, and she swept away 
with her the shaggy covering. She knew that he could not 
do anything without it. When she got the drink at the Creggan, 
she gave the shaggy covering to the change-house wife. She said 
to her to keep the shaggy covering until she thought that she 
would be at the house. Then came the White Sac, and every 
blow that he would give to the door, they would think that he 
would break through the house. The wife was waiting (making 
patience) to see if the girl would be at the house ere she gave back 
the shaggy covering. But with the awe she felt, she threw the 
sna ggy covering at him. The lad understood how matters were, 
and he was at the door to catch her. The White Sac was at the 
door as soon as she, but he was able to pull her from him. Then 
the White Sac got a hold of the plaid which was about her, and 
with the fright that the girl got she died. The woman was very 
sorry that she did the like, and she got no rest after that." 

On the farm of Rosehill or Rosshill there is a hillock overlook- 
ing the sea called " Carnan Fionn." Within the memory of people 
still living a cairn of considerable size stood on the hillock. There 
was also an underground passage. An old man told us that many 
years ago he groped his way for some distance down through this 
passage. The cairn stones were cleared away, and the plough 
driven over the crown of the hillock, obliterating its peculiar 
features. It looks as if there had been a fort and earth dwelling 

Jottings from West Kintyre. 59 

'Combined. Its name suggests that it may have been associated 
with the fairies. It was customary to use complimentary terms 
in referring to them and to their habits. Hence, perhaps, the 
name " Carnan Fionn," the beautiful little cairn. 

About a quarter of a mile to the south, on the farm of Glen- 

acardoch, there is a cone-like hillock called " Cnocan na-te- 
riabhaich," the hillock of the grizzly (she) one. At the foot of 
this hillock there are the foundations of a house said to have been 
occupied by the personage who bore this ominous name, " An-te- 
riabhach." We ventured to suggest that the name might 
probably be " Cnocan-na-fo'r-riabhaich," having heard of Dalrioch 
and Knockrioch, but our kindly gossip maintained that it was 
named for some unamiable female. The house had seven doors, 
for the story goes that she had no fewer that seven husbands, each 
of whom entered the house by a door of his own. Was the 
" Te-riabhach " a notable witch 1 Or was she the personification, 
in her stormy moods, of the Atlantic, whose waves all but wash the 
foot of " Cnocan-na-te-rhiabhaich ?" And who then are the seven 
husbands of the Atlantic ? Are they cloud, darkness, and rain, 
the wind and the wave, the sun by day and the moon by night 1 

Beneath the hillock just described, there is a detached rock, 
; steep on every side, flat at the top, and almost touched by the 
waves. Over the top of this rock are scattered a great quantity 
of stones, the remains of a fort. A little bay beside it was called 
" Port an Duin," and at no great distance is a sea-girt skerry 
called " Sgeir a' Bhlair," from which the enemy is said to have shot 
.his arrows when attacking the dun. 

There lived in these parts at the time of the Peninsular War 

a man of the name of Matthew W . It was known that the 

press gang was actively employed in the neighbourhood. Matthew 
W - became so frightened that he left home and betook himself 
for safety to the island of Cara, some five miles distant. While in 
exile there, he afterwards reported that he heard the voice of a 
friend of his crying from the other side : " Ho ! Mhatha, tha' m 
press a' 'm port an duin ; ho ! Mhatha, tha 'm press a' 'm port an 

At Blary, in Barr Glen, there is a small hillock called "Cnocan 
na'm piobairean." A little to the south is a longish narrow 
hillock called " Cnocan-na-sithichean." Close to this a battle is 
said to have been fought, and in the engagement there fell nine 
pipers, who were buried in the hillock called Cnocan-na'm 

In the same glen, on the farm of Charlottetown, there is 

another hillock called " Cnocan na'm ban." This is its story : 

60 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


" Bha bean ann an so aig an robh paisde. Thugadh air falbh- 
h-aon no dithis do na paisdean a bha aice leis na sithicheau.. 
Bhithte' faire nam paisdean a nuair sin air eagal mu 'n toirte air 
falbh iad. Thubhairt fear an tighe nach leigeadh e le duine sam 
bith faire a dheamah ach e fein an ofclhche sin. Gus a chumail 
na fhaire thug e leis noigean agus fhuair e sgian agus bha e 
snaidheidh a chearcail gus a chuir air. Chual e aon che61 bu. 
bhoidhche a chual e riamh. Cha b' urrainn se e fein a chumail 
'na fhaireachadh aig a cheol. Bha 'n ceol ga chuir na chadal. 
Chaidh an sgian na laimh, agus dhuisg sin e, agus chaidh e gus. 
an dorus. Bha e 'g eisdeachd ris a' cheol aig an dorus. ' 'S 
maith dhuit gur h-ann agamsa 'bha 'n saighead thubhairt fear da- 
na sithichean ris, ' No cha robh thusa an sin an nochd. Agus 
mar chomharra,' ars' esan, ' seall agus chi thu an coilleach marbh 
air an sparr." Chaidh an duine agus thug e leis solus agus fhuair 
e mar thubhairteadh ris, bha an coilleach marbh air an sparr. 
Cha do chuir iad riamh dragh tuilleadh air an teaghlach sin, bho- 
'n rinn e fein faire." 


" There was a woman here that had a child. One or two of the 
children which she had were taken away by the fairies. The 
children used to be watched then for fear that they would be 
taken away. The man of the house said that he would not let 
anyone watch on that night but himself. To keep himself' 
wakeful, he took a wooden pail, and he got a knife and began 
whittling a ring to put on it. And he heard the sweetest music 
he ever heard. He could not keep himself awake for the music. 
The music was lulling him to sleep. The knife went into his 
hand, and that woke him, and he went to the door and was 
listening to the music at the door. ' It is good for you that it was 
I that had the arrow,' said one of the fairies to him, * else you 
had not been there to night, and as a sign,' said he, * look and you 
will see the cock dead on the perch.' The man went and took a 
light, and he found as was said to him the cock was dead. 
They never troubled that family again, as the man himself had! 

Jottings from West Kintyre. 61 

Near " Cnocan nam ban" is " Cnocan na cainntearachd," 1 so 
called from the sound of discourse or music which the quick ear 
-of imagination heard proceeding from the knowe. One wonders 
whether the eloquence and music with which fairy hills were sup- 
posed to be replete accounts for the saying " cho glic ri cnoc," 
" as wise as a hillock." As these two knovves are not far apart, 
the fairies were believed to pass from the one to the other by 
secret ways. 

To the south of the island of Gigha, which is separated from 
the west coast of Kintyre by a sound about 3 miles in breadth, is 
the small island of Cara. It is about 1 mile in length, and over 
J mile from side to side. At the south end is the Mull of Cara, a 
bold headland which rises abruptly to the height of 150 to 180 
feet. Towards the centre of the island the elevation stands at 
100 feet, and from thence the ground slopes down gradually to the 
sound on the north. The outlines of the island are such as to 
.give it a remarkable resemblance to a body laid out for burial. 
Hence the name " An caradh," the laying out, which now takes 
the form Cara. 

The island is at present inhabited by one family, and that a 
small one. That a little community occupied it at one time may 
be surmised from the fact that close to the ample dwelling-house, 
there stand the ruins of a diminutive chapel. This romantic little 
island is stocked with sheep, goats, and deer. But what specially 
invests Cara with interest, and appeals strongly to the popular 
imagination, is its reputation as the home of the brownie. We 
have been told that the origin of the brownie may be traced to a 
tragedy in which one of the Clan Macdonald fell by the sword of a 
'Campbell. For what reason, it does not appear, the slaughtered 
Macdonald took the form of the brownie. His friendship for the 
clan is one of his most distinctive peculiarities. It is said that on 
one occasion Macdonald of Largie, the proprietor of the island, 
sent his boat and crew across to fetch a cask of wine from the 
cellar of Cara house. Arriving at their destination, the men were 
so unwise as to offend the brownie in some way or other. They 
descended into the cellar, and laid a plank in position whereon to 
roll the cask of wine up to the low storey of the house. But they 

1 An old farmer in the district told me that in ploughing here, many 
years ago, he turned up a great quantity of broken pottery. As he expressed 
it, " Bha Chriosdachd a phigcachan ann." Doubtless there was here ao 
ancient burying-place containing urns such as are frequently associated witli 
places of this kind. A lingering tradition that it was a pagan burying-place 
may account for its being connected later with the fairies. 

62 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

reckoned without their host. When they came to handle the cask,, 
they found that lead could not be heavier. Do all they could,, 
they were not able so much as to move it. Discovering their- 
mistake, they forthwith began to make overtures of peace to the 
brownie. Apologies and expressions of regret were freely offered, 
and then they betook themselves to their task again. No sooner 
had they touched the cask than it ran^ up the plank of itself, out 
at the door, rolled down helter skelter to the sea, clearing banks 
and bounding over rocks, and never halted until it reached the 
spot where the boat was moored at the shore. 

On another occasion Macdonald of Largie challenged a lowland 
crew to a rowing match against a home crew. They were four- 
a-side, with one at the helm. The match came off near Cara. So- 
complete and easy was the victory of the home crew as to warrant 
a general belief that the brownie was towing their boat. 

It is told how the Cara herd and his wife were one day burning 
kelp, and they sent the servant girl to drive the cow into the- 
byre. She searched the whole island for the cow, but all in vain 
the cow was not to be found. At last the cow was found in the 
byre, the door of which was secured on the outside as usual. It 
was, of course, attributed to the brownie. 

The brownie has the reputation of being a capricious sprite. 
He is a good hater, but, when in the humour of it, a most willing 
and helpful servant. The story goes that domestic servants, 
oppressed with the prospect of much serving, have found the work 
somehow taken out of their hands. Mysterious sounds were heard 
after the inmates of the house had retired to rest. Unseen hands- 
plied their labours ; confusion gave place to order. Tables were 
cleared, kitchen utensils scoured, dishes washed and laid in appro- 
priate places, none who were not in the secret of the brownie's 
ways knew how. A herd who lived at one time on the island 
always spoke of the brownie as "the gentleman." But woe betide 
any one who incurred his displeasure. A domestic servant 
has been known to do this, with the result that grievous bodily 
chastisement was inflicted upon her when the brownie got his. 

It is told that on one occasion a feast was about to be given 
in Cara. Among the invited were some who were obnoxious 
to the brownie. On hospitable thoughts intent, the good wife of 
the house, going to the press to bring forth the provisions laid 
past for the visitors, found, to her consternation, that the press 
door would not open. She rugged and tugged, but all to no 
effect. At last, stamping her foot on the floor, she said sternly, 

Jottings from West Kintyre. 6& 

" Do you mean to put me to shame in the presence of the people 
who are coming V when, hey, presto ! without any more ado the 
cupboard door swung open. 

Of the brownie it may be said, without any great stretch of 
imagination, that he is " monarch of all he surveys" in Cara at 
least. To match his dignity, therefore, it will surprise no one to . 
learn that he is the possessor of a kind of throne called " the 
brownie's chair." It is such a chair as we might expect a rustic 
sprite to choose for resting on. It is rude and solid, formed by a 
ledge in the rock, and poised at a considerable altitude. Visitors 
rarely land in Cara for the first time without sitting in the 
brownie's chair, nor have we ever heard that he resented this 


Near Port an Duin, already referred to, there gushes from the 
foot of a rock quite close to the sea a well called " Tobar na 
Foinneachan," or the Well of the Warts. It was said to have 
healing properties, which effectually removed these excrescences. 

On the farm of Barrmains there is another well credited with 
healing virtues. It is called " Tobar Mhiceil" or Michael's well. 
Close to it is a heap of small white pebbles. Doubtless these 
constituted the offerings of persons seeking relief from their 
sufferings at the well. 

There was found in cleaning out " Tobar an t-Sagairt," the 
Priest's well, or wishing well, which at one time supplied water to 
the Church of St Kenneth or Kilchenzie, a square dressed piece of 
silver mica, 2J by 3J by J inch, perforated in centre, and with 
two incised concentric rings. On the inner ring are seven 
punctured holes, and immediately outside the outer ring are nine 
larger holes. The opposite side of the stone is ornamented with 
an inner circle of nineteen small punctures (but without incised 
ring), and an outer circle of twelve large punctures. Unfortu- 
nately, one corner of the stone was damaged by the Workmen's 
tools. The stone was probably connected with charm working, 
and was thrown into the well for benefits hoped for or received. 
The water of the well was believed to have great healing power, 
provided the patient possessed sufficient faith, and performed all 
the necessary rites correctly, one of which was the throwing of a 
white stone or other offering into the well. 

A small square block of white sandstone, with a socket-hole on 
upper surface, probably a stand for a cross or small image, was 
also found in the well. We have quoted from the account given 
in a local newspaper of this find. The articles mentioned are in 
the Campbeltown Museum. 

:64 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

We have been told that a man who dwelt in this parish, 
believing that it would restore him to health when he was dying, 
desired to drink of the water of this well or of the water of 
41 Tobar a chath," the battle well, close to it, as David longed to 
drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem. 


The names in this district, pointing to ecclesiastical founda- 
tions, are Killean, Kilchenzie, Kilmory, Kilmaluag, Killegruir, 
Killocraw, and Kilmahoe. 

Killean (Cill-Sheathain), the Cell or Church of St John. The 
same name is found in Oa, Islay, and in Sutherlandshire. At 
Killean there are the ruins of a pre-Reformation church, and also 

several sculptured stones. 

Kilchenzie (Cill-Chaineach), the Church of St Kenneth), who 
'was born in Co. Deny, died 517. He laboured in the Western 
Islands and in Ireland. At Kilchenzie also there are the ruins of 
a pre-Reformation church. 

Kilmory (Cill-Mhuire), the Church of the Virgin Mary. 

Kilmaluag (Cill-Moluoc), the Church of Moluoc, bishop and 
confessor, died June 25th, . r >77. Connected with Lismore and 
buried at Rosemarchy. Many churches dedicated to him. The 
bachul mor, or great staff or crosier of the saint, is in the 
possession of the Duke of Argyll. 

Killegruir (Cill a' chruithfhear), the church of the Creator. So 
we understand it, though we cannot quote an authority for it. 

Killarrow (Cill-Maelrubha), the Church of Maelrubha, abbot, 
born January 3rd, 642, died April 21st, 722. Descended of Irish 
and Dalriadian stock. Founded Church in Appincrossan, now 
Applecross, said to have been a second lona. This saint's name 
underwent great changes, such as Mulruby, Marrow, Mury, 
Arrow and Olrow. 

Kilmahoe (Cill-na-hough?), the church of the hough or lowland. 
The found of a small chapel has been traced here, and a cist was 
discovered near it. 

Killocraw, pronounced Cill o' Craich. We are at a loss to 
account for this, as Celtic hagiology does not, as far as we know, 
furnish a name to which it can be referred. Was this a dedica- 
tion to some ecclesiastic unknown to fame, named 0' Crath or 0' 

Crach ? 

Jottings from West Kin tyre. 65 

The following are place-names of the district referred to : 

Achadaduie (Ach fada dubh). 

Arinanuan (Airidh nan nan), the sheiling of the lambs. 

Balevain (Bale mheadhon), middle town. 

Balnagleck (Bale na glaic), town of the hollow. 

Barr, a hill top. 

Barlea (Barr liath), the gray hill top. 

Baruchdarach, the upper hill top. 

Barragm6nachach, the little peaty hill top. 

Blary (Blar field and i?), island probably so called because 
enclosed on two sides by Barr river and stream. 

Breckachy (Brec achadh), spotted field. 

Cleit. (a rock or cliff), trap dykes at the place. 

Cnoc an rois (Rosshill), the hill of the point. 

Beachmore, the big birch. 

Beachmeanach (Beauhmeadhonach), the middle birch. 

Beachar (Beath a charragh), the birch of the pillar, so called 
from monolith that crowns the hill. 

Creagruadh, red rock. 

Dalmore, the big plain. 

Drumnamucklach (Druim nam mulo chlach), the ridge of the 
stone lumps. 

Dunashery (Dun aisridh) the fort of the hill. 

Gaigen (Gagan), ths little cleft. On each side of the place is a 
deep fissure. 

Garvolt (Garradb mholt), the wedder copse or den. 

Glencloioi (Gleann clach a gheoidh). the glen of the goose stone. 

Gortinanaue (Goirtean nan eun), the birds' paddock. 

Glemtcardoch (Gleann na ceardach), the smithy glen. 

Langa (Lann ath), the church stream ; the place is situated 
beside a stream that runs past Kilchenzie Church. 

Largy (Lairig), sloping hill or hill aide. 

Lagalgarve (lagan garbh), the rough little hollow. 

Lenanmore (Lean mor), the big meadow. 

Tangy (Tcaiiga), tongue. The. configuration of the land exactly 
resembles a tongue. 

Bhunahaorine (Rudha na aoireann), the point of the beach or of 
the low-lying land near the sea ; aoireann, from Norse " eyrr," a 

There are also Peninirine (Peghinn nan aoiream), Aoireann 
jil Ibhir and Aoireann a bhalla (the beach of the wall), at 
t: a nnUist, Kilberry, Tarbat, and Lochfyne respectively. 

66 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

Between Killocraw and Putechan there is a stream spanned by 
a high narrow bridge over which the old road passed. Here, it 
is said, two funeral processions once met. Both companies had 
been indulging freely in drink. It was necessary that one party 
should stand aside while the other crossed the bridge, but neither 
was in the temper to give way. A battle there and then began, 
in which many fell on both sides. A memorial of the disaster is 
preserved in the name of the stream^-" Allt-na-dunach," or the 
stream of misfortune. 

It is said that a tenant of Killocraw gave some man a piece of 
ground to cultivate for himself. It was supposed that he happened 
to light upon a place where there were human remains, either a 
burying-place of the usual kind or an old battlefield. Whatever 
it was that the man saw or felt, he struck the spade into the 
ground, went home, fell sick, and died. He paid the last penalty 
for desecrating the ground. 

8th FEBRUARY, 1895. 

The twenty-third annual dinner of the Society took place 
in the Caledonian Hotel this evening. In the absence, 
owing to illness, of Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of Drummond, 
Chief of the Society, Provost Ross presided. The croupiers were 
Mr Alexander Macbain, M.A., and Mr Alexander Mackenzie, 
publisher. There were about fifty gentlemen present, in- 
cluding : Mr William Mackay, solicitor, hon. secretary ; Rev. 
Mr Macdonald, Killearnan ; Rev. Mr Macdonald, Kiltarlity ; 
Mr Steele, Bank of Scotland ; Mr Robertson, H.M.I.S. ; 
Mr John Ross, Stornoway ; Mr Machardy, chief constable ; Mr W. 
G. Stuart, Mr Wm. Mackenzie, clothier ; Mr Fraser of Millburn ; 
Mr Macleod, fishmonger ; Mr W. Macdonald, contractor ; Mr 
Medlock, jeweller; Mr George Ross, solicitor; Mr F. Grant, 
solicitor ; Mr J. S. Fraser, solicitor ; Mr Stronach, assistant, 
H.M.I.S. ; Mr Macgregor, Bank of Scotland ; Mr Macgillivray, do.; 
Mr Alex. Fraser, Balloch ; Mr J. Macbean. of Messrs Ferguson & 
Macbean ; Mr Macleod, Drumsmittal ; Mr Keeble, Church Street ; 
Mr Henry Munro, Union Street ; Dr F. M. Mackenzie ; Mr Mac- 
kenzie, fishmonger ; Mr Fraser, Upper Kessock Street ; Mr Alex. 
Macdonald, Tomnahurich Street ; Mr Wark, Lancashire Insurance 
Coy. ; Mr Alex. Fraser, Tomnahurich Street; Mr Davidson, Union 

Annual Dinner. 67 

Street; Mr D. M. Cameron, Dempster Gardens; Mr Findlater, of 
Macdonald & Mackintosh; Mr Duncan Campbell, Craignish ; Mr 
Livingston, Helenslea ; Mr Nairne, and others. The assembled 
.gentlemen marched to the dining room, headed by the gifted piper 
to the Society, Mr Ronald Mackenzie, Gordon Castle, pipe-major. 
Mr Mackenzie played stirring and well-selected music during 
the dinner, also after many of the toasts, and was frequently 

The Chairman, who was received with applause, gave the 
customary loyal and patriotic toasts, which were pledged with 

Captain Findlater, 1st V.B.C.H., replied for the Auxiliary' 
Forces, which, he said, were never in a more prosperous state than 
at present, especially the Highland Battalions. Than the 3rd 
Seaforth and the 2nd Camerons, there were no finer Battalions 
in the British Isles, and they knew what a splendid Brigade was 
the Highland Artillery. That remark was, he thought, equally 
applicable to the Infantry Volunteers. Their Brigade was up to 
its full strength, and they intended to have a Brigade camp this 
year, although the time and place had not yet been decided. 
They looked forward to having a line regiment at the camp, and 
he believed that if that were introduced, it was calculated to do a 
great deal of good (hear, hear). Considering the out-door games 
that were now pursued, Captain Findlater thought it was a 
wonder that volunteering had kept up so well. Much, however, 
remained to be done by the War Office, such as paying 
travelling expenses to the Volunteers. 

Mr Duncan Mackintosh, secretary to the Society, then read a long 
list of apologies for absence from members of the Society, and sub- 
mitted the annual report of the Executive, which was as follows : 
The Council have pleasure in reporting that the prosperity and 
usefulness of the Society continue to increase. During the past 
year, two life members and sixteen ordinary members had joined 
the Society, and the membership now stood as follows : 30 life 
members, 56 honorary members, and 367 ordinary members in 
all, 453. Volume XIX. of the Transactions of the Society would 
be forwarded to the members in a few days, bringing the publica- 
tion of their proceedings down to the beginning of the present 
session. The income aud expenditure for the year showed a 
balance to the credit of the Society of 55 2s Id. Out of that 
sum, however, there fell to bo paid the cost of printing and 
binding Volume XIX. The Council had to acknowledge a further 
contribution of 5 towards the printing account from Mr Mackay, 

68 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Hereford (applause). They had to regret the recent death of the- 
Rev. A. D. Mackenzie, Kilmoarck, who delivered the inaugural 
address to the Society. 

The Chairman said We have had a most satisfactory report,. 
and it now falls to me to propose the toast of the evening, 
" Success to the Gaelic Society of Inverness" (applause). This is 
now the 23rd anniversary of its existence, and I am glad to say 
that we may congratulate ourselves onjtontinued success, and look 
with some pride on the good work of past years. Vol. XIX., 
which is now placed in your hands, is not a whit behind the 
former ones in interest and value, though the second volume in. 
one year. The members of the Society continue to increase in 
numbers and influence, its fame is spreading far and wide, and the 
number of members is now 450, and the Society of Inverness is- 
being taken as a model for other kindred societies (applause). 
Apart from the more immediate work of the Society, the individual 
members are doing good work a splendid example being the 
volume on Glen-Urqulmrt by our honorary secretary, Mr William 
Mackay, and we are promised more in Presbytery Records of 
Inverness and Dingwall by the same writer. Mr Macbain also 
shows good work in his Gaelic Dictionary, now nearly ready. Dr 
Maccallum also gives us a collection of Hymns and Spiritual 
Songs ; many other works arc announced notably that of Mr 
Macdonald, Kiltarlity, who gives a collection of Uist Songs, &c. 
It is difficult year by year "to address the Society on the same 
subject, and I may be pardoned a few words on the present condi- 
tion of the country from a social point of view. I think the 
condition of the Highlands is generally a matter for congratula- 
tion ; for although times have been somewhat hard, yet we have 
not felt the commercial pinch so much as our neighbours in the 
South, nor have our pastoral farms been so ruinously affected as 
our agricultural ones. During the past season work has been 
plentiful throughput the Highlands, and our railway extension lias 
given employment to many, producing thereby comfort and con- 
tent, and with this employment arid steady labour there is loss 
unrest and discontent than has been exhibited for some years 
back (hear, hear). One irivat factor in ameliorating the condi- 
tion of the schools in the Highlands has been the great educational 
movement ; our youths arc now able to enter the lists with our 
southern neighbours, and I hope to see the higher grade of our 
Civil Service rilled to a greater extent with native Highlanders than 
has hitherto been the case. It has struck me and many others 
that our Civil Service, such as the Inland Revenue and Excise, are 

Annual Dinner. 69 

largely made up of Englishmen and Irishmen, and that in the large 
staff of their officials now in Inverness, the percentage of High- 
landers and even Scotchmen is very small. Now, why should this 
be ? These services are well paid and carry a pension, yet cur 
Highland youth have failed to secure their fair share of them. No 
doubt, to a large extent the Highland youths have been debarred 
by the difficulties of preliminary training, the distance of the 
examination stations, and the want of information as uo the mode 
of procedure, but with our secondary schools and the establish- 
ment of examining stations at Inverness, Portree, and Stornoway, 
it is to be hoped that a new era will dawn fer our young men, and 
that many may succeed in getting some of the good things hitherto 
unobtainable by them. Through the intervention of the Scottish 
Education Department, important concessions have been made, 
.and the three Northern centres referred to will become available 
to our country lads near home for education and examination, 
instead of their travelling away South at a great expense and 
inconvenience, with possible failure and disappointment before 
them. I am glad to say, however, that where the venture 
was made success has crowned the effort ; and I have no 
fear of the Highland youths they came to the front in the 
military service of their country, and brought home laurels of 
honour to their home and name, and I cannot think that they 
will do less in the Civil Service than they did in the military. 
All that is wanted is that a regular system of training should be 
established in our local schools to enable the young men to take 
advantage of this concession. I understand that the Inverness 
School Board are about to start special classes for the purpose, and 
no doubt the other centres will follow suit ; and when the impor- 
tance of the movement is realised, the Highland youths will come 
to the front and secure their fair share of the good things going. 
'The success of our Society and those already in operation seems to 
have stimulated others in the movement, and I note the formation 
of several other societies, notably one in Aberdeen, the prospectus 
for which has just reached me, and I heartily concur in the 
scheme, and wish them success in the extension of those national 
and patriotic societies. Aberdeen is a place where such a society 
should have flourished long ago. A large number of Highland 
y ouths have annually flocked there to attend the College classes, 
and nowhere could a society such as ours do so much to assist the 
young student and foster a feeling of brotherhood amongst true 
Highlanders. Aberdeen has been a centre of education for the 
North of Scotland for centuries, and I am sure we wish a Society 
such as ours every success in the Granite City. I was amused to 

70 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

see after an influential committee, and the Marquis of Huntly as 
Chieftain, a following of no less than 12 pipers. We have few 
losses to record by death, but there is one notable Highlander who 
has disappeared from our midst. I mean Macleod of Macleod. I 
can recollect hearing of his generosity and self-sacrifice in the 
terrible year of 1845-46, when the Highlands suffered from the 
potato blight, and how he came to the front and helped his people. 
We have heard that many gentlemeff have been prevented by 
health and weather from attending our meeting to-night, and we 
miss many old faces, yet, at the same time, it is pleasing to observe 
their places all filled by capable and enthusiastic young members, 
and it augurs well for the future of the Society. I hope these 
juniors will walk in the footsteps of their fathers, and keep afloat, 
both by their presence, and more particularly by their writings 
and contributions, the traditions and happy associations of the 
olden time, for it is not enough that you should come here to- 
enjoy yourselves, but each one of you could and ought to do some 
work for the Society, and contribute to this Society, and thus help 
to the preservation of the lore and records of the past. 

The toast was pledged with Highland honours. 

Rev. Mr Macdonald, Kiltarlity, in proposing the Language and 
Literature of the Gael, said it was a theme of surpassing interest 
to every true Highlander, and proceeded : As loyal sons of 
Caledonia we love the language of our sires, the language of 
sweetest minstrelsy and most fascinating romance, which speaks to. 
the Highland heart in accents more tender and winsome than any 
other language beneath the sun. If we forget the mountain 
tongue, the dear old speech of Scotia's bards and heroes, may our 
right hand forget its cunning. We reverence the venerable Gaelic 
language because it is venerable. The time of the first great 
Celtic movement westward from the Aryan cradle of our race is 
buried in the mists of a dim and hoary antiquity. But we know 
that the Gael was the pioneer of that movement, that he swept out 
of his way the pre-historic races of Europe, and that at last he- 
penetrated to our British shores. He has left footprints in many 
European lands, and the testimony of numerous place names 
proclaims to the traveller that the "ancient Gael passed by that 
way. Hence, whether or not we agree with my poetic clansman 
Alexander Macdonald, that the progenitor of humanity couched his- 
conjugal endearments in the language of the Gael, the results of 
modern research leave no doubt as to its great antiquity. Judging 
from its structure and genius, we conclude that it has floated for 
many and many an age down the stream of history that its life- 

Annual Dinner. 71 

may be counted by milleniums, and that its birth-place is very far 
up those everlasting hills of time whence the river of human speech 
has sprung. The antiquity of the venerable language of the Gael 
is at once its weakness and its strength. It was born too early, 
perhaps, in the history of the world to be able successfully to 
grapple with the manifold requirements of our complex modern 
life. The English language came into being, and underwent the 
process of being shaped at a time when the human spirit was 
awakening to many of the great problems of nature and life, and 
for that reason, among others, its genius adapts it for the formation 
of abstract terms, and for processes of analysis, generalisation, and 
research. For commerce, science, and philosophy, the masterful 
tongue of the Saxon serves us well. Our mother tongue is a 
language of the world's youth, when the mind looked out at 
nature, as upon 

" The scenery of a fairy dream." 

It abounds in concrete rather than abstract terms it is the speech 
of passion, pathos, and fancy the speech of poetry rather than 
of science ; and thus it is that in this age of toiling hands and 
brains, the language which was born when the world was young, 
has in many relations to give way to the language of the world's 
manhood. But if we turn aside from the world's thoroughfares 
into the byways of domestic life, or if we go forth into those 
stirring fields where the trumpet speaks to the armed throng, 
scenes in which the heart utters itself and the passions of the soul 
are called into play, where can we find a more fit exponent of the 
thoughts that arise in us than this old tongue of ours, which has 
in it the " glee of the waterfall, the sighing of the wind, and the 
sough cf the forest?" , He who would sing, whether in joyful 
strains or in those sweetest songs that tell of saddest thought, 
or the 

" Love-lorn swain in lady's bower," 

who would make love convincingly and successfully, can find no 
lf>ys more capable of bearing the burden of his heart than the 
minstrelsy of our native land. And as the antiquity of our Gaelic 
speech makes it strong as the language poetry, so has it also 
rendered it a powerful instrument for philological research. 
Thanks to the methodical plodding patient Teuton rather than to 
the brilliant emotional but not too persevering Celt, the lamp of 
Gaelic learning has shed a most interesting light upon the dim 
mazes of comparative philology. L suppose the educated Teuton 
of to-day will admit that the Gael has a literature. Ignorant 

72 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

prejudice on this subject lias been hydra-headed ; contempt of the 
(Vlt has, undoubtedly, been very hard to lull. Yet even our 
devisers have not always been consistent in their contempt. The 
stately genius of England's latest laureate, who seldom used 
>n measured terms, allowed itself to speak in "In Memoriam " of 

" The schoolboy heat, 
The blind hysterics ofjhe Celt." 

Yet the hero on whom he lavishes the lich and varied resources of 

his genius 

" Who reverenced his conscience as his king, 
Whose glory was redressing human wrong," 

was Arthur, the Celtic King of Strathclyde. Similar inconsistency is 
perceptible in Dr Johnson, who held up the Celtic race and literature 
to ridicule, and yet who paid them a great but not undeserved com- 
pliment in the most famous sentence he ever penned. It is too 
familiar to need quotation. It has, however, been well remarked 
that while it is difficult to say \\hat force the doctor's patriotism 
would gather upon the plains of Marathon if we are to measure his 
piety by his truthfulness on Celtic themes, it would not grow very 
warm among the ruins of lona. Dr Johnson's famous utterance 
contains a great historical truth. While the ancestors of our 
proud Norman barons those of Dr Johnson, Pinkerton, et hoc 
yenns omne, miserable traducers of our noble race were emerging 
out of barbarism and showing their superiority as a people by 
demolishing monasteries and destroying their literary treasures, 
Culdee monks, Gaelic missionaries, were scattering the seeds of 
learning and art not only among our Celtic forefathers but over 
many European lands. Up to the 16th century, when the lord- 
ship of the Isles collapsed, and the strongest bond of union between 
the Gael of Ireland and Scotland departed, the language and 
literature of the two countries were virtually one. Ancient Gaelic 
literature precedes that time. In Ireland there exists in manuscripts 
and in print a mass of literature in the Gaelic tongue of which 
any country might be proud. In Scotland the ancient 
literature of the Gael is represented by MSS., almost all of 
which are preserved in the Advocates' Library but portions 
of which have been printed. Modest in amount, though 
valuable in character, represented by such works as the 
" Book of the Dean of Lismore" and other MSS., published and 
unpublished, it is highly probable that the ancient literature of 
the Scottish Gael which exists to-day is only the fragment of a 

Annual Dinner. 73 

greater literary past a few bits of precious ore preserved out of a 
vast mine which was engulfed by the ravages of Scandinavian 
marauders, or overwhelmed by that tide of Saxon influence which 
began to flow in the days of Malcolm Canmore, and has been 
flowing ever since. Take, however, that ancient Gaelic literature 
as a whole, take it in its heroic cycles that of Cuchullin with the 
story of the sons of Uisneachan and the Ossianic cycle no matter 
how you explain their origin and growth, whether they are the 
Gaelic development of the wider cycle of Aryan myth or not ; look 
at them in their higher forms and phases and you see a creative 
but unconscious art, a vividness of imagination, a pictureequeness 
of fancy, a pathos and tenderness of emotion, and even a sublimity 
of conception, which, combined with purity of moral sentiment, 
reflect lasting glory upon the heroic literature of the Gael. In 
such a connection a passing reference to that comet of a season, 
James Macpherson, is inevitable. I use the word comet advisedly, 
because his orbit was decidedly erratic, and he introduced terrible 
confusion into the study of our heroic poetry. A poetic genius 
undoubtedly he was; for his Ossian was his own, and not that of 
Gaelic tradition, and it bears the same relation to the real Ossianic 
cycle as Tennyson's poems on the " Knights of the Round Table" 
to Arthurian legend and romance. In the seventeenth century, 
after the disappearance of the strolling singers, a school of native 
bards arose, who sang in the native dialect of Scotland, and there 
is to some extent a parting of the ways of Irish and Scottish 
Gaelic literature. From the fallen Lordship of the Isles down to 
the Rebellion of 1745, the Highland chiefs and clans transferred 
their allegiance to the Stuart dynasty. In spite of Lord Mac- 
aulay's ascription of sordid motives, a disgraceful insinuation 
echoed by feebler voices, and notwithstanding the fatal folly of 
these misguided kings, there is nothing, in my opinion, more 
chivalrous in modern history than the devotion of the High- 
landers to the unfortunate House of Stuart. I tell you that when 
the bribe of 30,000 was flung back in the face of the British 
Government by a people who, though poor, had still a sense of 
honour, and when the whole immortal episode was crowned by the 
heroism of Flora Macdonald, the Scottish. Gael rose to a height of 
unselfish devotion which will be recorded with honour to the end 
of time. And this thrilling period of Scottish history has been 
voiced melodiously by our Highland bards. Much of our Gaelic 
poetry of the last 200 years is connected with these struggles, and 
the bards were always to be found on the side of the old line of 
kings who, whatever were their faults, were the legitimate occu-' 

74 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

pants of the ancient Scottish throne. Of the varied merits of the 
Jacobite minstrelsy of the Gael, its spirit, its enthusiasm, its 
patriotic fervour, its glowing and graceful ardour, I have no time 
to speak. For the same reason I can only refer to some of 
tiie greatest masters of Gaelic song in the last two centuries the 
feeling for nature in the charming songs of Donnacha Ban, the 
beauty and tenderness of William Ross, and the chaste style, 
sparkling fancy, and brilliant wit of o^r own John MacCodrum. 
I wish also I were able to enlarge upon the beauties of our prose 
literature, which, though limited in amount, has been for ever 
redeemed from commonplace by that gem among books, Caraid 
nan Gaidkeal, and the invaluable tales of Campbell of Islay. And 
now, to conclude, I am to couple this toast with the name of a 
gentleman to whom the Celtic world is deeply indebted. We 
know how much Mr Mackenzie has at heart the social advance- 
ment of his race, and we know what yeoman service he has 
rendered in his sphere of Highland historical research. In a 
manner that has won the admiration, even the w r onder of 
all, he has been marshalling the clansmen of 500 years,, 
and still that prolific and unwearied pen runs on, and we 
are all deep in the interesting Fraser history which weekly appears 
in the Scottish Highlander, Mr Mackenzie's services to Celtic 
literature are worthy of the warmest recognition from the race to 
which he belongs, and we hope he may live long to serve the sons 
of the Gael. 

^ Mr Alex. Mackenzie, in the course of his reply, recalled the 
time when to speak in Gaelic to any gentleman in Inverness was 
regarded as an insult. The times had changed, and he attributed 
the change very much to the influence and operations of the Gaelic 
Society. It was well known that Lochiel's boys spoke Gaelic as 
well as he (the speaker) did himself ; and the same was true of 
Lord Macdonald's boys and The Mackintosh family, while as for 
the Duke of Atholl's family Gaelic was thoroughly understood as 
well as spoken. As regarded the language generally, there had 
been a perfect revolution during the past quarter of a century. 
In fact, no man was considered respectable unless he spoke Gaelic. 
Mr Duncan Campbell proposed the toast of Highland Education, 
coupled with the name of Mr John L. Robertson, H.M.I.S, who, he 
said, was a good Highlander as well as an Inspector of Schools. As- 
far as he, himself, was concerned, his only right to speak to the toast 
was that he happened to be the oldest parish schoolmaster alive in 
that part of the country. He began in 1849. Of course there 
* was a sharp contrast between the past and the present systems, 

Annual Dinner. 75. 

and perhaps the change in every respect was not in favour of the 
new system. He had been reading Ian Maclaren's book, and here 
he might parenthetically say, one of the things in which he was 
in accord with Mr Gladstone, was his appreciation of the sketches 
of character the reverend author gave. Those sketches, particu- 
larly that of the old dominie, brought back to him very vividly 
the life in Perthshire of the large class of old schoolmasters who 
dosed their pupils heavily with Latin, and with more than a 
sprinkling of Greek. It was not generally considered that the 
parochial schoolmasters of the olden days were thoroughly 
orthodox, even when under the Society for Propagating Christian 
Knowledge, but for all that they salted the education they 
imparted well with the Shorter Catechism and Scripture. The 
S.P.C.K. was incorporated in 1709 ; and the other day he noticed 
in the first volume of the Scots Magazine that in the preceding 
year there were 40CO children in 113 schools. In later days 
some notable schoolmasters came upon the scene, such men as 
Dugald Buchanan, Rannoch, and other characters of the same 
kind, who had no objection to what were called human hymns ; 
they threw their religion into a form that was pleasant and 
attractive, and made the children learn the hymns. He thought 
such men as Buchanan did more for true Galvanism in the High- 
lands than the Shorter Catechism, with or without proofs. After 
giving some other critical reminiscences of the days of parochial 
education, Mr Campbell concluded by submitting the toast. 

Mr Robertson said public officials connected with the civil 
service were not supposed to give any deliverances on these 
subjects in public, but in a general way he thought it was interest- 
ing and proper for officials to note, at such a meeting as that, the 
public appreciation shewn in the matter of education all over the 
country. Enormous progress had been made in education within 
recent years. Mr Campbell had remarked upon the limited supply 
of competent teachers there was in the old days : that want had 
been practically if not entirely removed. In no part of the 
country more than in the Highlands had eductional progress, 
particularly in elementary education, been more marked. The 
enormous sums spent by Government in the Highland counties on 
education was too little understood. He might say in this con- 
nection that the various public bodies co-operate loyally in 
improving matters. There could be no doubt in the minds of 
those who looked below the surface and took cognisance of how 
things were moving, that education was one of the most powerful 
remedial agents that could possibly be brought to bear on the 

76 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

social condition of the people. The more marked the progress of 
education was, the less complex, he was convinced, would the 
situation become in the Highlands. The difficulties of the people 
would be mitigated. He might be expected to refer to the Gaelic- 
speaking aspect of education in the Highlands. There also the 
progress made had been exceedingly gratifying. Highland lads 
in the Gaelic-speaking districts had shown that with any reason- 
able amount of encouragement, they olJuld find their way into the 
universities, and there hold their own ; and there was good 
expectations that, now that the Government had made the 
important concession of establishing service examination 
centres at three northern points, before long a greater number pf 
Highland young men would iind their way into the civil service 
of the country. There could be no doubt whatever that Highland 
lads had got the brains to do this. All that was wanted was 
simply good schools He was glad to hear from the Chairman 
that while the practical side of education was looked after so 
thoroughly by the Government, the Gaelic Society of Inverness 
was not losing sight of the important function of encouraging the 
study of the Gaelic language and literature, and that it had been 
resolved to offer a medal to be competed for by pupils in the 
secondary department of the High School. It was a marked 
feature in the educational state of the county that the Burgh 
School Board of Inverness had established a secondary department 
so thoroughly equipped that boys of parts could mid their way 
from it into any University in the United Kingdom. This was a 
matter of great encouragement to those who had a strong belief 
in the future of the Highland people, that this advantage had 
been gained without charge of any kind whatever to so many 
youths of the country. 

Mr Henry Munro gave the toast of Agricultural and Com- 
mercial Interests of the Highlands. With regard to agriculture, 
upon the successful prosecution of which the Highlands so much 
depended, he said the cloud of depression many years ago was 
no larger than a man's hand, and now it darkened the whole 
horizon. It was not simply depression agriculture suffered from, 
but a gradual ebbing away of capital. Many an honest fellow 
not able to meet his obligations might adopt the words of the 
old song 

" I got my gear wi' muckle care, 

And kept it wee! together, 
Now it's gane wi' muckle mair, 

I'll gang and be a sodger." 

Annual Dinner. 77 

Prophets had arisen amongst them who said there was no such 
thing as agricultural depression. He did not think such a state- 
ment had any foundation. There had not only been depression, 
but it was really much worse than before, and, unless something 
was done, it promised to abide with them. Various suggestions 
had been made to alleviate the distress prevailing at the present 
moment. Some people proposed artificial means whereby to 
raise prices, but the extraordinary thing was that the men who 
made them ran away from their own proposals. Without entering 
upon the political aspect of the matter, he might say that he did 
not think atry natural advantages would be secured through 
unnatural agents. If any suggestions could be made that would 
lighten present difficulties, and place agriculture in a more satis- 
factory position, the author of it would attain fame as a public 
benefactor. He did not attribute anything to the landlords ; many 
of them, in that locality particularly, had done nobly and bravely 
in trying to suit their own altered circumstances to the altered 
circumstances of the farmers. It would nT become that company 
not to recognise the efforts the landlords had made to get over the 
difficulties which surround them and their tenants. No, he did 
not blame landlords for the position in which many of the farmers 
had very foolishly placed themselves. He knew cases where 
farmers had been obliged to quit their farms because they would 
not pay, and yet those very identical farms were taken by neigh- 
bouring farmers at an increased rent. The landlord could not be 
blamed for that. The great run on farms could be traced to one 
cause, viz., the difficulty in finding farms through the consolidation 
of small farms into large ones that had taken place. No man was 
more utterly helpless when cut adrift from the cultivation of the 
soil than the farmer. If he was sent into the towns it was noticed 
that moral and physical deterioration at once set in ; it came like 
a sentence of death upon him. That being the case, landlords in 
every case should consider seriously indeed before they did any- 
thing to deprive a tenant of the opportunity of earning his 
livelihood by the cultivation of the soil. He blamed the farmers 
themselves in one respect, and the remedy lay in their own hands, 
yet they would not avail themselves of it. There was not sufficient 
cohesion amongst them ; they failed to combine to attain a mutual 
end. A better understanding would, he thought, yet arise between 
tenants and their landlords. With regard to commerce, he had 
seen the Highlands in a considerably better state, and also 
considerably worse. He was extremely gratified to observe the 
progress some of their native institutions were making, notably the 
Highland Railway and the Caledonian Bank both had rendered 

78 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

immense service not only to Inverness, but to the whole Highlands 
of Scotland. 

Mr Alexander Fraser, farmer, Balloch, and Mr Alexander F. 
Steele, banker, Inverness, replied. 

Rev. Mr Macdonald, Killearnan, proposed the health of the 
^Chairman, who had presided over them in a manner that had been 
acceptable to all. The toast was pledged with Highland honours. 

There were a number of other toasrs given, Gaelic and English 
songs sung, and the meeting closed by the whole company singing 
<4 Auld Lang Syne." 

13th FEBRUARY, 1895. 

At this meeting the following gentlemen were elected members 
-of the Society, viz. : Mr Wark, Local Secretary Lancashire Insur- 
ance Coy., Inverness; Mr Sef ton, Inland Revenue Office, Inverness; 
Mr H. Macdonald, solicitor, Aberdeen ; Mr Jas. Holmes, 4 Finchley 
Road, AVal worth, London ; Mr Donald Macgregor and Mr Donald 
Paterson Macgillivray, both of the Bank of Scotland, Inverness. 
The Secretary laid on the table, as a donation towards the Society's 
Library, a copy of " The Songs and Poems of J. MacCodrum," from 
the editor, the Rev. Alex. Macdonald, E.G. Manse, Kiltarlity. 
Thereafter the Secretary read a paper contributed by the Rev. 
Neil Mackay, Croick, Ardgay, entitled "The influence of the 
Norse Invasion on the Language and Literature of the Highlands." 
Mr Mackay's paper was as follows : 




The importance of the Norse as a factor in the ethnology of 
Europe is greater than one who knew their country would be 
.ready to expect. Norway never was, and indeed never can be, a 
populous country. Its inhospitable climate and the peculiarly 
irregular formation of the land are unfavourable to the increase of 
life. The vast table of mountain land, of which it is for the most 
part composed, is, in general, too high to be of use for agricultural 
-or even for pastoral purposes. From this plateau there branches 
out numerous mountain ridges, so steep that they shoot up into 
those lofty peaks for which the country is famous. These ridges 
^are in general separated only by the fiords, narrow arms of 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 79 

the sea, some of which are over a hundred miles in length, or by 
rapid rivers, or lakes. All the land that is of use to the inhabi- 
tants is what lies between the foot of these mountains and the 
water. This is not much, for in many places the bare rock dips 
sheer down into the sea or lake. As one sails up these fiords, he 
may see here and there farms of a few acres, with many miles of 
country between them. The little estates do not average each 
fifty acres. They have been improved, so far as nature left it 
possible, ages ago, and they are densely inhabited. Ten years ago 
the population did not amount to two millions. 

Yet, for several centuries, the inhabitants of this country were 
the terror of the whole sea-coast of Europe. From 750 till 1100 
Norway sent out horde after horde of immigrants, and fleet after 
fleet of pirates, which we know to have found their way south as 
far as the Black Sea, and north as far as Greenland, and the 
American coast even. First we find a general exodus from all the 
Scandinavian lands. This arose probably from commotions in 
Central Europe having led many to seek refuge in countries 
farther north. These fugitives must have forced the original 
inhabitants of the Peninsula before them, and ultimately com- 
pelled them to seek for a home across the seas. In 795 Norse 
pirates were for the first time seen in the Irish seas. In 798 they 
plundered the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. Eight years after- 
wards they ravaged the ecclesiastical settlement in lona, slaying 
sixty-eight of the monks, an event that forshadowed the effects 
they were afterwards destined to produce. 

Some time after this, we find Harold Harfagri welding together 
what is now the Kingdom of Norway. The pirates, who would 
seem to have made Orkney and Shetland their headquarters, were 
so little influenced by patriotic feelings that they made inroads 
upon their native land. As early as 870, we find Harold making 
an expedition to these islands to punish them for harrying his 
lands. In 883, by the victory of Hafursfiord, he became sole 
Monarch of Norway. He dispossessed many of his wealthy 
opponents, and they, in revenge, betook themselves to the 
Orkneys, and joined in the Viking raids against Norway. Harold 
was not the man to tolerate such treatment, so he led an expedition 
against these islands, swept their coast clear of the plunderers, 
and took possession of the Western Islands all the way south to 
Man. Thus began the supremacy of Norway over the Scottish 
Islands, a supremacy upheld in regard to the Hebrides till 1266, 
and, in the case of Orkney and Shetland, for a hundred and two 
years longer. 

The lands of Orkney and Shetland, with the title of Earl of 

80 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Orkney, were offered by Harold to a Norwegian earl of the name 
of Rognvald. He being unwilling to uphold his claim to these 
possessions, made them over to his brother Sigurd. 

Sigurd was a warlike chieftain, and one well adapted to hold 
his own in such a stormy period. He called to his aid Thorstein, 
the Red, the son of the Norse King of Dublin, and they both set 
out on an expedition against the mainland. They subdued Caith- 
ness and Sutherland, and made raids^into Ross and Moray. In 
onu of these raids Sigurd met his death. Maelbrigd (the buck 
toothed), a Scottish Maormor, thinking to overcome force by 
treachery, invited him to a conference, to which he contrived to 
bring double the number of men that his opponent brought. The 
Norsemen, however, discovered- the plot in time to take measures 
against it, and they slew the Maormor and all his followers. 
Sigurd tied the head of his fallen enemy to his saddle bow, but as 
he galloped along the "buck tooth" inflicted a wound upon his leg 
which caused his death. 

After Sigurd's death his alley, Thorstein, reigned as King over 
the conquered districts. The Sagas tell us that he was very 
successful in war, and that he ruled as King over the half of 
Scotland. We, indeed, see a recognition of his greatness in t he- 
fact that a daughter of the Scottish King was given him in 
marriage, but his conquest of the native population was too 
rapid and extensive to be thorough, so that we are not 
surprised to find that shortly afterwards he was slain by the 
Scots in Caithness. After his death the Earldom of Caithness 
passed for a time into the hands of one of its native chiefs, who 
had married his daughter. But Thorfinn Hausekliffer, Earl of 
Orkney, and grandson of the above-mentioned Rognvald, having 
married a daughter of this couple, the Earldom of Orkney and 
Caithness met in one. Thorfinn took up his residence in Orkney, 
and would seem to have been a man bold in war to have earned 
from that generation the terrible surname of Hausakliffer (skull 
cleaver). We pass by his fratricidal family till we come to his 
grandson, Sigurd, who came into possession of the joint -earldoms 
about 980. 

Sigurd II. was one of the most powerful of the Norse Eails. 
He would seem to have aimed at nothing less than the subjuga- 
tion of all the islands and lands in the west where the Norwegians 
had made settlements. He appears to have possessed a good deal 
of administrative talents, together with all the restless disposition 
of a Viking. Some time before Sigurd's accession to the Earldom, 
the King of Norway had been trying to exact tribute from the 
inhabitants of the Hebrides. This would appear to have been 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 81 

difficult to do, and some time afterwards we find Sigurd acknow- 
ledging the supremacy of the King of Norway by paying him an 
annual tribute, and acting as absolute ruler of all the islands. He 
defeated Godred Haroldson, who pretended to be King of the 
Isles, and set up his sister's husband, Earl Gilli, who resided at 
Colonsay, as his representative in the west. Wishing to have a 
firm footing upon the mainland, he drove the Scots completely out 
of Caithness. This could not but provoke a struggle, and Sigurd 
found himself confronted by the Maormor Finla^, the father of 
Macbeath, with an army seven times the size of his own. He at 
first hesitated to fight against such odds, but stung by the 
taunts of his mother, he, after encouraging his followers with 
pronjises of great rewards, attacked and routed the Scottish army. 
He then subdued Sutherland, Koss, Moray, and Argyle, and 
Malcolm II., between whom and the Macbeath family there 
existed no friendly relation, made a treaty with him, and gave 
him his daughter in marriage. 

Shortly after his accession to the Earldom, Sigurd, in a harbour 
on the Pentland Firth, came in contact with the Great Olaf 
Tryggvison, the Missionary King of Norway. The King, in 
accordance with the great design in which he was absorbed, 
commanded the Earl to renounce Paganism, become a Christian, 
and endeavour to convert his people. If not, he threatened to- 
slay him on the spot, and to destroy the Orkneys with fire and 
sword if they should not yield to his request. Sigurd at last 
unwillingly consented, and the King departed, leaving behind him 
priests to instruct the people in the faith. The Earl himself 
seems to have been little influenced by these teachers, for nearly 
twenty years afterwards we find him bearing his enchanted banner 
on the side of Paganism at the battle of Clontarf. Yet there are 
evidences that Christian ideas of a kind were gaining ground 
among his people. One of his chiefs, fleeing from the field, 
was in danger of being drowned in the river, and was heard 
making a vow as follows "Thy dog, Apostle Peter, hath run 
twice to Rome, and he would run the third time if thou gavest 
him leave." 

On the death of Sigurd, his son Thorfin, by the daughter of 
Malcolm, received the Earldom of Caithness, while his three sons, 
by a former marriage were allowed to divide the Orkneys between 
them. Thorfinn was Earl of Caithness for the long period of 
seventy years, during the last eighteen years of which he held the 
Earldom of Orkney. The Norse influence in Britain would in his 
day have appeared to have reached its zenith. He made expedi- 


82 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

tions to Irelaud, to Man, and to England, and ruled over the 
Norse settlement that extended from the Sol way to Carrick. No 
fewer, indeed, than nine earldoms were under his sway, most 
likely Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Moray, Buchan, Athole, Lorn, 
Argyle, and Galloway (Munch). He is said to have maintained in 
Orkney something like a Court, to which many men of note were 
invited. In 1050 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome to obtain 
absolution for his sins. After his retiu he left off making war 
and turned his mind to government and the making of laws. He 
built Christ's Kirk at Birsay, and established the first see in 

Thorfinn died in 1064, and his two sons Paul and Erlend ruled 
his dominions conjointly. But the solidity which Thorfinn had 
given to the Norse rule soon disappeared. The saga laments that 
many provinces subjected to the Norsemen were now again setting 
up the chiefs that had been deposed. This may have led to the 
expeditions of Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway, who conquered 
the Orkneys, and ravaged and subdued the Western Islands all 
the way south to Anglesea, sparing only lona. He was slain in 
Irelaud in 1103. On his death, Hakon, the son of Paul, and 
Magnus, the son of Erlend, held the earldoms conjointly, like their 
fathers. The life of Magnus demands our attention as illustrating 
the growing power of Christianity. He took his station as Earl 
with the highest idea of the responsibilities it brought him. 
Magnus, says his biographer, then became " Magnus" (great) 
indeed. He slew the man self, and buried him in the sand. He 
exercised himself much in repentance and such other exercises as 
belong to a truly religious life. In all things, says the saga, he 
strictly obeyed the divine command. He punished rich and poor 
impartially for robberies, for thefts, and for all crimes. He was 
murdered by his cousin Hakon, and pilgrimages for a long time 
used to be made to his grave. 

Rognvald, a nephew of Magnus, became one of two Earls of 
Orkney in 1136. We find in him a spirit of culture and chivalry 
that was rare in that dynasty. A poet himself, he was also a 
patron of poets, for we find him maintaining along with him 
Reveral such who had come all the way from Iceland and Shetland. 
In conjunction with one of these he wrote a work on versification. 
He went on an expedition to Jerusalem, which called forth much 
attention, and died in 1158. 

A cotemporary Earl was Harold Maddadson. The saga 
reckons him to have been one of the three greatest Earls of 
Orkney. He was for a short period sole ruler of Orkney and 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. S3 

^Caithness, but the King of Norway deprived him of Shetland, 
which after that belonged no more to the Earl of Orkney. His 
;son John died without issue in 1231, and Alexander II. granted 
the Earldom of North Caithness to Magnus, the second son of the 
Earl of Angus. When in 1263 King Hacon was making his ill- 
fated expedition to Scotland, the Norse element was thought to be 
:so strong in Caithness that King Alexander demanded hostages 
ifor their fealty to him. After that the connection between the 
Scottish Islands and Norway was almost nominal. In. 1266 
Magnus IV., King of Norway, ceded the Hebrides and Man to 
Scotland, and Orkney and Shetland were ceded in 1468. 

A word upon the character of this race with whom the Celts of 
'Scotland for so long a time came in contact. They were a people 
of enormous mental energy energy which the circumstances in 
which they were placed caused to appear in a very evil form. 
Their history reveals to us so much restlessness and cruelty that 
we feel as if they were altogether beyond the pale of our 
sympathies. Yet they possessed qualities that must have recom- 
mended themselves to any people, and which could not have failed 
to make them influence strongly the races among whom they 
mingled. It has been given as a marked distinction between the 
'Celt and the Teuton, that, while the former has an aversion to 
bloodshed except when his passions are roused, the latter can 
delight in inflicting pain and death even in his ordinary mood. 
This family characteristic would seem to have been strongest in 
the Norseman, and his circumstances at the period during which 
we have to do with him were well calculated to call it into action, 
for he had no alternative to his being at war with mankind. But 
uch a tendency, where it exists, is happily merely in posse one 
that may grow if men yield to it, and the predominating 
sympathies of the race seem to have been very different. No 
ancient literature gives one such an idea of simple and strong 
natural affection as theirs does. Instead of being incapable of 
sympathy, as we would be apt to consider them, they were above 
most races open to it. True, their sympathy, like their other good 
qualities, they confined within narrow limits, for they were ever 
low to live on neighbourly terms with the races they dispossessed, 
but within these limits they had a peculiar intensity. Their 
appreciation of home life comes out strongly in their mythology, 
and the strength of the ties of kinship forms the mainspring of 
many a tragic tale in their sagas. That even in Iceland they did 
not fight for the love of it may be seen from the proverb " Not 
long is hand fain to fight." 

84 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

They were also a devout people : they were L ,oo sincere to have- 
been otherwise. Theirs was not the nature to be without a faith 
or without restraint in life. Nature found them observant enough 
to allow of her giving them a creed, and more of showing them 
that it would be a terrible thing for them to make light of it. 
They found greatness and mystery enough in nature to be unable 
to have self as the centre of their thought^ and aims a great effect 
certainly by whatever means produced. Norse mythology is, like 
every other mythology, a reproduction of the genius of the race, but 
of all mythologies it is the least subjective. It was in keeping with 
their character as a people to perceive that beliefs to be worth 
having must be received, not made. That is probably the reason 
why we find them continually seeking what may be called a 
natural or physical basis for their religion. So much was Carlyle 
impressed with this tendency in their writings that he roundly 
declares they worshipped science. In the grandeur and mystery 
of nature they recognised those of their gods, and, what constitutes 
their peculiar characteristic, they perhaps unconsciously yet 
uniformly made nature the .measure or standard of their faith. 
They could, like all men, think of immortality, of immunity from 
fate and from trouble, but nature showed none of these. They 
saw in the future only a mere reflection of the present, bearing all 
its lights and shades. A religion leaning so much upon material 
nature necessarily partakes of its instability. They saw the 
dismal conclusion their system committed them to, yet they dared 
to accept it. Odin, they believed, had appointed his fate for every 
man. His Valkyrs brought the soul of every warrior who met 
his death bravely to Walhall. But even he could not give 
immortality, for his own end would sooner or later come. The 
" Twilight of the gods" was drawing near, as fate had decreed, 
when the all -devouring wolf would be let loose, and the serpent,, 
coiled round the universe, would lash itself into fury, when the 
gods and their enemies would perish in internecine strife, and all 
creation sink into chaos. 

Some think that the national love of the tragical accounts for 
this dismal belief. But men do not dramatise on such subjects, 
and indeed one cannot read the Edda without feeling that it is the 
natural outcome of their habits of thought. The sanguine Celt 
would bid defiance to reason and tradition before he would sub- 
mit to such an incubus. But to the Norseman this belief had the 
merit, to him the all-redeeming merit, of agreeing with the 
natural order of things It was probably this feature of character 
that led them in the south to sympathise with the heretic Arius, 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 85 

.and to cleave to his doctrines for a century and a half after they 
had been rejected by the whole Christian Church. 

The Norsemen, notwithstanding the comparative soberness 
that characterised their religious beliefs, were a superstitious 
people, not less superstitious, perhaps, than the Celts themselves. 
Their surroundings in their mother country were well calculated 
to make them so. The deep gloom of their narrow valleys ; the 
mournful dashing of waves along the fiords and lakes ; the noise 
of waterfalls, multiplied by surrounding rocks and caverns, and 
the weird play of the light upon their snow-clad peaks, could not 
fail to call into action the imagination of the lonely inhabitants, 
.and make them the objects of melancholy and delusive fears. 
They believed in witches, who could spoil cattle, raise storms, 
inflict sickness and death upon men, and assume the form of 
;animals. In the Orkneyinga Saga we have a long account of an 
interview that Hakon, Paul's son, had with a Swedish spae-man. 
The seer had evidently a high time of it, for " he went from one 
feast to another, and foretold the seasons and other things to the 
country people." Such were evidently regarded as questionable 
characters by all, for Hakon broadly hints that he had neither 
Teligion nor virtue. 

At the time of the viking exodus, we find a powerful literature 
coming into existence among them. The national spirit was 
stirred by the wildly adventurous life that was opened up to it, 
.and the old beliefs were thrown by master minds into a form more 
in keeping with the circumstances of the race. The Edda, the 
oldest collection of Norse poetry, is believed to have grown up in 
Western lands. There are, indeed, several circumstances that 
would lead us to think they were largely composed in the North 
and West of Scotland. The " Everlasting Fight" is represented 
-as taking place at Hoy, and the "Magic Mill" is sunk in the 
Pentland Firth. There are many Gaelic words, such as "niol," 
darkness, " tir," earth, and " lind," stream, scattered throughout 
the collection, and the people of the region are represented as 
using peat as fuel. King Swerri, who was born in Faroe, and 
brought up in the Western Islands, tells us that these poems were 
well known there in his youth (1150), and his saga would show 
himself to have been long familiar with them. That they entered 
largely into the life of that period is seen from the fact that 
quotations and ideas from them are to be found in many of the 
sagas. Once the quotation is called a snatch of a song. 

The poetry has the realism and power that fitted it to 
gain the ear of a people accustomed to excitement and not given 

M, Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

to abstract thinking. In some parts it reflects a sensual and 
somewhat shallow state of life, but generally it may be said to \>e 
the expression of the life of a people whom peril and adversity 
have educated and made strong. The ethical teaching is often 
.defective, but sometimes, as in the Sun Song and th Christian's 
Wisdom, the moral earnestness is intense^ 

The race were also characterised by their love of tales. Story- 
telling was a recognised amusement. In Eric the Red's Saga we 
find the Greenland family sitting round the table and telling 
stories at the Yule feasts. We find stories told at the Al things 
and by sailors on their voyages. In the Hauksbok we are told 
how a'crew landed for the night and sat beside a howe where one 
relates a story, and the ghost who heard it was so delighted that 
he gave up to them the treasures that were within. These stories 
usually took the form of a narrative of the deeds of heroes that 
were gone, and they showed a strict adherence to facts that would 
have been damaging to their popularity among most other races. In 
this they were imitated by the Sagas ; indeed, the Sagas merely eni er 
more minutely into the incidents of the life and give greater attention 
to style and arrangement. They allow of no fictitious embellish- 
ments or additions. Of this important branch of literature 
Yigfusson, in his Preface to Sturlinga's Saga, says : *' The author 
gives no description of scenery, no analysis of character, no reflec- 
tion of his own ever breaks the flow. The plot is nearly always a 
tragedy, and the humour dark and gloomy, but this is relieved by 
the brighter and more idyllic home and farm scenes, and by the 
pathos and naivete which are ever present." 

A strong influence in regard to knowledge and to sentiment 
these works were fitted to produce, and they would seem to have 
been widely circulated. We know from Njal's Saga that he was 
acquainted not only with the sagas of his own island, but knew 
also the Orkney Saga, the Irish Saga of Brian; and the Norwegian 
one of St Olaf. 

Let us now consider more closely what was the relation 
subsisting between our Celtic forefathers and these invaders. 
Some are inclined to think that when they fixed upon a district 
which to occupy their first care was to make a wholesale slaughter 
of the inhabitants. This terrible hypothesis would enable us to 
explain how, in the Western Islands, almost all the place names 
are Norse, and indeed there is nothing in the supposition inconsist- 
ent with the known character of the people. The author of the 
Wars of the Gaedhil (chap. 28) says : " The whole of Munster 
was ravaged by them, so that there was not a house or hearth 

7 he Influence of the Norse Invasion. 87 

from Lui southwards." We feel how useless the inhabitants 
found resistance to be when he describes to us these robbers 
wandering through the land ransacking the caves in which 
property had been hid. Wherever they went we get a like 
account of them. Simeon of Durham, in describing the ravages 
they committed, says : " They were like wolves, slaying priests 
and Levites, and whole choirs of monks and nuns." In the 
Landnamabok we find a settler of the name of Barnakarl (Bairn's 
man), a name given to him because he would not join in the 
sport of killing children by catching them on the point of his 
spear. But these savages had come from a country where slavery 
was prevalent, and having become on a sudden the owners of 
much property, they were likely to spare of the vanquished so 
many at least as would labour their land. And that this was the 
case even in regard to the Western Islands is seen from the fact 
that when they had to emigrate to Iceland many of the slaves, 
and not a few of the land owners, showed by such names as 
Malcolm, Dufthac, and Kearan that they were Celts. On the 
northern mainland also the Norse words to be found in the Gaelic 
would seem to show that there was between the two races a close, 
but very unfriendly, relation ; perhaps, indeed, the relation of 
masters and slaves. The Norse word Bondi (land owner), of 
which the older form was Buandi, had different meanings in 
different countries. When the influence of a despotic nobility 
had become paramount in Norway, we find the word coming to be 
used in the sense of our word " Boor." In democratic Iceland 
the word was also a term of respect, and indeed it was used in 
Shetland by farmers when addressing one another as late as the 
end of last century. On the north coast of Sutherlandshire the 
word lost its original meaning, and is now significantly used to 
signify a bully, buaiii (R. Donn), or one who will strike his fellow 
without thinking twice about it. Also, when we corne to consider 
the words we took from them, we will find that a disproportionately 
large number of them are epithets of contempt. 

When we come to ask what were the relative positions of the 
two races upon the land, we have to be guided chiefly by history 
and topography. In the Red Book of Clan Ranald, written about 
the middle of the seventeenth century by Niel Mac Vuirich, the 
hereditary seanachie of the clan, we read that about this period 
all the islands from Man to the Orkneys and all the bordering 
country from Dumbarton to Caithness were in the possession of 
the Lochlinnich, and that such of the Gaedhil of the time as 
remained were protecting themselves in the woods or in the 

88 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

mountains. This general statement is corroborated by what 
Fordun, the historian, who lived (if I remember well) in the 
twelfth century, says about the state of matters in his own day. 
He says that the inhabitants of Scotland were divided into t\\o 
distinct races, one living along the coast and speaking Saxon, the 
other speaking Irish and living in the interior. 

The evidence from topography tend? pretty much to the same 
thing. Captain Thomas, after a careful examination of the place 
names in Lewis and Harris, finds that opposed to 42 Gaelic names 
there are 160 Scandinavian, and that while the Scandinavian 
townships have an average population of 15'1, that of the Gaelic 
townships is only 9*2, thus showing that among the small number 
of Gaelic names we must include most of those places that would 
not have been brought under cultivation till a late date. On the 
mainland the place names would lead us to believe that the North- 
men took possession of the coast as described, and worked their 
way to a greater or less extent inland. The names of most of the 
inlands and rivers are Scandinavian, while those of the mountains 
and lakes are mostly Gaelic. A knowledge of the names and the 
places on the north coast of Sutherlandshire would lead one to 
think that almost all the important townships for twelve miles 
inland have Scandinavian names. 

1. " Rhu Phoirbh." Cape Wrath is the Gallicised form of the 
Norse name of the promontory. Hvarf (turning round). 

2. "Durness" (Dyr + ness). Sir Robert Gordon says that 
in his day it was the best deer-stalking district in Scotland. 

3. " Erribol." Eyrr + Bolstadr (steading on the beach). 

4. " Hope." Hop (a small land-locked bay). It gives its 
name to the river and to Ben Hope, which is, I should 
think, seven miles away from it. 

5. Melness. Mel + ness (Links' district). So Melvich. 

6. Tongue. Tunga (a point of land). So called from the 

isthmus in the Kyle. 

7. Borgie, Borg (a fortification). Ruins of a tower were, I 
was told, discovered a few years ago. 

8. Farr. There is a Norse word " far," a passage, but it is 
not suited to the character of the place. There is another 
place of that name nine miles south of Inverness. 

9. Swordly (Svord + dalr), soft grass dale. 

10. Kirktomy, Gaelic Guerstomidh, the " r" being hardly per- 
ceptible. (Kjos + Holmr), the holm in the hollow, the 
"h" as usual becoming a " t." Kirk in such a place is out 
of the question. 

11. Bowset (Boda-setti), the meeting place for justice. 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 89 

By noting the place names in Strathnaver, one may be. able to 
estimate how far the foreigners encroached upon the land. It will 
be seen that below Ross wall, a place 14 miles from the shore, 
there is only one township of size that has a Gaelic name, namely, 
Carnachadh. Above this point, however, the place names are 
almost all Gaelic. 

12. Dalharold (a name of Gaelic formation) has a tall stone 

column which is said to mark the grave of a Norse general. 

1 3. Bad-anloskain, the field of the toad. And here it may be 

of interest for me to say that we have Badanloskain, 
Meallandorain, and Geo-antsheobhaig, and there arej| not 
half-a-dozen people in the Reay country that know what 
Doran, Losgann, or Sheobhag mean. Our words for these 
now are Balgar-dubh, Leumachan, and Spearrag. 

14. We have Achness ( an eiss), Grummore (Grub-, Gruid-), 

Acchoul (Ach + choile), and many more, all Gaelic. But 
even in the interior we find here and there in out-of-the- 
way places a Norse settlement, such as 

15. Tuddersgaig, or Tuddersgait, Norse (Tuddr + skaut), the 
bull's comer, just as Polr-sgait, on the coast, signifies the 
corner in the hollow. 

I have spoken this little on our topography to show what I 
take to be the relative strength of the two elements in it, but 
chiefly because I consider that in dealing with the constitution of 
a language the origin of its place-names must not be overlooked. 

The Northmen, no doubt, fought and slew and enslaved to 
make room for themselves on our coast, and picked quarrels with 
the native Celts whenever they wished to extend their domains. 
But we are not to think of the two races living in a relation 
of independence and defiance to one another. The invaders, as 
far as we know of their operations, and probably as far as these 
operations could be effective, were organised under leaders, and 
their invasions were no irregular skirmishes, but conquests. Every 
battle was followed by the imposition of taxes. The author of 
"The Wars of the Gaedhil" tells us, with some exaggeration, no 
doubt, that in Ireland the Northmen had a king over every terri- 
tory, an abbot over every church, and a soldier in every house, so 
that men could not give even an egg in kindness to an aged man. 
They may not have carrried on this process of enriching them- 
selves so systematically in Scotland as they did in Ireland, but 
that they did not neglect it we are certain. We read several 
times of the imposition of taxes in the Orkneyinga Saga ; and so 

<JO Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

well established had these exactions become, that the standard,, 
according to which they were made, was by David I. authorised as 
that of the Northern Counties, under the name of Pondus 
Cateniense. There must, from these and from other causes, have 
been a close intercourse between the races, an intercourse doubt- 
less darkened by violence and sorrow, wanting in all moral safe- 
guards, and in which there must have been lasting scorn on the 
one side, and lasting hate on the other. We have more than a 
hint of that in the old proverb " Is goirid an Gall an ceann chuir 
deth." The idiom in this saying is ndf Gaelic, but the Norsemen, 
with their grim humour, commonly express the idea of beheading 
by the phrase " Lata h6f#i skemra" to make one a head 
shorter (Cleaseby). The Gael had intercourse enough with the 
foreigner to know his language, but such intercourse as gave him 
no kindlier feeling than that towards him. There is a good deal 
of irrepressible Celtic humour to be seen in their borrowing of the 
phrase in such circumstances and for such a purpose. 

There are, doubtless, many words in Gaelic derived from 
Norse, the descent of which, from want of literary remains, can 
never be traced. Who would think in English of deriving 
parchment from Pergamus, or trivial from "tres viae" (a place 
where three ways meet, and where much gossip is talked), if the 
development, or transformation rather, were not a matter of 
history ? There are many words also in Northern Gaelic con- 
cerning which it will be hard to decide whether they came to us 
from Norse or from Scotch. Who can say whether the Sutherland 
words "annser" and "reapan" came from the words "answer" and 
" rope,'' rather than from the Norse "annsvar" and "reip?" I 
have refrained from giving of these except as many as I consider 
to have a strong presumption in their favour. 


1. " Tap' leibh," said by way of thanks ; Ic. happ, good luck. 

2. "Cha d'thug e taing air" It did not in the least aft ect 
him in regard to pain or sorrow. Ic. tanga, a point, but 
plur. in the phrase "Hoorki tangr ne tegund" = not a 

3. " Bual do shtis ri earn," said to exasperate one ; Ic. sess, 

4. " Cuiridh mi stall ort," I will do for you ; Ic. hel, death, or 
the ogress. 

5. " Rhag chrochair," you consummate villain; Ic. hrak, in 
compounds = wretched , wicked ; hrak bui, a wretched 

The Influence of the Norse Inuasion. 91 

6. " Gasadh chlach," or " casadh smugaid," always with the- 
idea of contempt ; Ic. kasa, to throw stones upon, of witches 
or carcases. 

7. " Sgeic" or " rac eudaich," a stitch of clothes ; Ic. skikki and 
rak, both = strip. 

8. Mairg, many. 

Is mairg na daoine dalla borl) 

Tha cuir an earbsa san t-saoghal (J. Mackay, 1750). 

Ic. mergd, multitude, plenty. 

In the following we see Gaelic words taking the meaning of Norse 
words that resemble them in sound 

9 Dun (heap), made to signify band. 

J S na huile beana phusda bha sud (Ic. pus, espouse). 

A dol nan dunaibh suas (Rob, Dunn). 

Ic. dunn, a band (sober, moderate). 
10. In Sutherland, stuama means merely that the person is no 

babbler. There is an Ic. stumi = dumb. 

A good many of the words which I shall give here I found in the 
vocabulary attached to Rob Bonn's poems. I shall mark these 
by his initials. 


1. A thriotar, you knave ; Ic. priotr, a knave. I do not 
remember having heard the t unaspirated. 

2. A liugar, you sneak ; Ic. Ljugari, a liar. 

3 Dais, a blockhead ; Ic. dasi. a lazy fellow (R.D.). 

4. Duaire, a- pig-headed character ; Ic. dm^ra (dvergr), a 

sulky fellow (R.D.). 

5. Duil fhear, a sulky fellow ; Ic. dulr, adj. silent, close (R.D.). 

6. ftolbhar, a greedy fellow ; Ic. kol-bitr, a coal- eater, one 

sitting always by the fire-side (R.D.) 

7. Roudhlais, a through-other person ; Ic. raudlaus, shiftless. 

8. Slafaist, a loosely-built person ; Ic. slafast, adj. slacken, be 

9. Slaucar, a spiritless fellow ; Ic. adj. slakr, idle. 

10. Qlbh, you brute ; Ic. ulfr, a wolf. 

11. Glutai*, a glutton; Tc. glutr, extravagance. 

12. Aular, a dunce; Ic. auli, a dunce. 

13. Ealbhar, a good-for-nothing fellow; Ic. alfr, an elf. As the 

elves had power to bewitch men, a silly vacant person is in 
Iceland called " alfr" (Cleaseby). 

92 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

14. Amulaid, an unsteady person ; Ic. amlodi, a weak person. 

Perhaps Robb Bonn's word "amuel teach," ludicrous, is 
from the same root. 

15. Croppau, a deformed person ; Ic. kroppin, crippled. 

16. Gocamann, a fool ; Ic. Gauksman, one who watches the 
cuckoo's throat. 


1 . Graufal, revolting ; Ic. grufa, crouch, cower ; Danish, gru, 


2. Rollaisteach, according to Macleod and Dewar signifies to 
be given to exaggeration. With us it always signifies the 
restless disposition of children ; Ic. rolaus, restless. 

3. So with us " sgeugach" always signifies a physical not a 
mental peculiarity. It is applied only to men and signifies 
(1) that one has a projecting chin, or (2) that one has a 
beard of that peculiar strong straight hair; Ic. skegg, 

4. Tapaidh, big, manly ; Ic. tap, pith, pluck. 

5. Foraileach, imperious ; Ic. for, forward, haughty. Perhaps 

this is the prefix in forneart. 

6. Driopail, to be busy ; Ic. drepa, v. doing a thing. 

7. Compare the adjectives costail and ladarna, expensive and 
bold, with Ic. kostall, costly, and labrann, robber. 


1 . Gleadhraich, din, gleadhar, blow ; Ic. gledi, gledir, merry- 
making of a festival. 

2. Capparaid, wrangling ; Ic. v. kapp, seen in kappord, v. 

wrangling, kapprodr, a rowing match. 

3. Radh, intention, " Tha mi air ladh so a dhean^mh," I 
intend, &c.; Ic. rad, counsel, settled plan. 

4. Trosg, thud or crack, " thuilt e le trosg," he fell with a 
crash ; Ic. prosk, a noise, beating as from threshing. 

5. The u in uspairn, strife, is the regular Ic. negative prefix. 
G. Spadrach, attention to dress ; Ic. spatra, behave like a fop. 

7. Dragh, as v. drag, as n. annoyance ; Ic. draga, draw. 

8. Farbhas, rnmour, surmise ; Ic. fyrir-visa, forboding ; Lit. 
knowing from afar. Probably it is the same prefix that is 
in farabhalach, stranger. 

9. Campar, hindrance, annoyance ; Ic. kampr, a crest or front 

10. Deilig, dealing, converse; Ic. dael liki, familiarity, easy 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 9& 

11. lalltaich, howling of dogs ; Ic. yla, howl of a dog. 

12. Solumas, plenty, a word given as peculiar to Donald 

Mathieson, and the probably related word soluidh, a 
treasure, found with Bob Donn, may be found from Ic [sala,. 
cloth used in buying and selling. Soluvad was the 
standard for payment of wadmal. 

v. NOUNS. 

(a) Words in connection with the sea 

1. Sgoth, the larger winter fishing boat; Ic. skuta, a small 

craft or cutter. 

2. Sgulag, the basket for holding the lines ; Ic. skutill, a plate 

trencher or even a small table. 

3. Tobhta, a rowing bench ; Ic. thopta, ditto. 

4. Tobha, a rope ; Ic. tog or tau, ditto. 

5. Stuir, the rudder ; Ic. syra, ditto. 

6. Rachd, the rack or " traveller ;" Ic. rakki, ditto. 

7. Sudh, the seam between the planks of a ship ; Ic. sudh, 


8. Rangan, the ribs of a vessel ; Ic. rong, ditto. 

9. Fracht, freight ; Danish fragt, ditto. 

10. Stagh, stay rope ; Danish stag, ditto. 

11. Tearr, tar; Ic. tjar, ditto. 

12. Spor, a flint ; Ic. spori, ditto. 

13. Dorgh, a hand line ; Ic. dorga, a line for fishing through 

holes in the ice. 

14. Sgal (sgal gaoithe), the sound of high wind ; Ic. skjall,. 

shriek used of a storm. 

I find the following names of birds and fishes : 

15. Sulair, the solon goose ; Tc. haf-sula, ditto. 

16. Scarbh, the scarf; Ic. skarv, ditto.' 

17. Stearnag, the sea swallow ; Ic. Therna, 

18. Ale, the'auk ; Ic. alk. 

19. Lamhidh, a sea bird ; Ic. Langve. 

20. Ceilig, the cod ; Ic. keila, ditto. 

21. Sgait, the skate ; Ic. skata, ditto. 

22. So our cnudan and geaddag are from Ic. cnudr and geddas. 

23. Uirisg, a monster ; Ic. Ofriskja. 

24. Sgiddair medusa; Ic. skjoldr, shield, hence medusa 


94 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

{b) The names of such natural objects as : 

1. Sabh, the sea, Mairi Nin-Alasdair has 

Ri fuaim an tshaimh 

Is uaigneach mo ghean. Ic. haf, the sea. 

2. Sgriodan, the broken face of a declivity ; Ic. skridha, land- 

3. Sgeir, a reef ; Ic. sker, ditto. 

4. Grunnd, the bottom, especially of the sea ; Ic. grunnr, 
bottom of the sea. 

5. Cleit, a rock, cliff ; Ic. klettr, ditto. 
. Os, the mouth of a river ; Ic. oss. 

7. Uig, a nook, a retired hollow ; Ic. ogr, an inlet creek. 

8. Ob, a bay, a creek ; Ic. opna, an opening ; so Oban, the 

place name. 

9. Geodh, a creek ; Ic. gja, a creek, or rift ; so Staxigoe in the 
north of Caithness. 

10. Cos, a hollow ; Ic. kvos, a little hollow. 

11. Bodha, a breaker or sunken rock ; Ic. bodi. 

12. Bruic, seaweed ; Ic. bruk. 

(c) The Norsemen claimed for Torf-Einar, one of their leaders, 
the honour of being the first man to cut peats, a claim which 
language would in some measure seem to countenence. 

1. Bac, our word for the peat bank is Ic. bakki, a bank. 

2. Toraisger, the basket ; Ic. torf + ausker, peat scoop. 

3. Bar, the regularly waving bank of peats by the side is Ic. 

bar, undulations on the surface of anything. 

4. Rudh, the small stack of peats is Ic. hruga, heap. 

(d) Carpenter's trade 

1. Tal, adz ; Ic. talga-ov, ditto. 

2. Locar, plane ; Ic. lokarr. 

3. Sparr, a beam ; Ic, sparre, a bar. 

4. Sgeilm, a chisel ; Ic. skalrn, a short sword (or a pointed 

5. Sgor, a notch, cutting ; Ic. skor, ditto. 

6. Glamradh, a vice ; Ic. klembra, pinch in a vice. 

(e) Household 

1. Isbean, a sausage; Ic. ispen, ditto. 

2. Ceapair, bread and "kitchen;" Ic. keper (1) a cudgel; 

(2) then from the shape a sausage. The change to the 
present use suggests a change from a pastoral to a more 
agricultural condition. The former would have been the 
only state of life tolerable to people whom parasitism must 
have enervated. 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 95 

3. Obhan, the blown milk on the surface of the milking vessel. 

4. Keisgeadh, the hanging of fish or flesh up to dry ; Ic. 

raskerd, split fish hung up to dry. 

5. Crcgan, from crog, a pitcher ; Ic. krukka, a pot. 

6. Crogaig, a hook ; Ic. krokr, ditto. 

7. Suith, soot ; Ic. so#, ditto. 

8. Brisgein, gristle ; Ic. brjosk, ditto. 

9. Shearradair, towel ; Ic. thera, ditto. 

10. Cnag, stump to sit on ; Ic. knakkr, a little chair. 

11. Arainn. hearth ; " Aig arainn an tigh;" Ic. arinn, ditto. 

12. Diosc (Skye), a plate ; Ic. diskr. 

13. Seoin, a feast ; Ic. son, a sacrifice. 


1. Bunndais, weaver's fee in kind ; Ic. band, pi. bond, yarn of 

wool (R.D.). 

2. Nabuidh, neighbour ; Ic. nabui, ditto. 

3. Sioman, a straw rope ; Ic. sima, ditto. 

4. Sgrath, covering ; Ic. skra, a scroll, dry skin. 

5. Sg6r, the swaithe, sweep of the scythe ; Ic. skori, ditto. 

6. Suist, the flail ; Ic. pust, sometimes zust, ditto. 

7. Fosgar, an extravagant word applied to the grunting noise 

that some men make while eating ; Ic. oscra, bellow, roar, 
oscarra (Gaelic), loud, is another form. 

8. Ocar (Sutherland, Focar), interest of money ; Ic. okr, ditto. 

9. Sgillinn, a penny ; Ic. skillingr, a shilling. 

10. Mod, a court of justice, meeting ; Ic. mot, ditto. 

11. Basdal, noise; Ic. bastl, turmoil. 

12. Steornadh, govern ; Ic. stjorna, ditto, lit. guide by the 

stars (stjarna). 

13. Ruta, a ram ; Ic. hrutr, ditto. 

14. Maghan, the stomach; Ic. magi, ditto. 

15. Magul, "cod"; Ic. flesh of the belly, especially of sheep. 

16. Gadhar, a greyhound; Ic. gagarr, a dog. 

17. Cromadh, finger length ; Ic. krumma, 4 or 5 inches. 

18. Sgall, baldness; Ic skalli, a bald head. 

19. Mai, rent, tax ; Ic. payment to soldiers, &c. 

20. Opposite to " turn," turn ; stri, strife ; lioda, lisp ; teadhair, 
tether ; cairteal, quarter ; beid, bait ; we have the following 
Ic. words with similar meanings Turna, strifr; lioda, 
tjofrr ; kvartill, beit. 

21. Sad (Lewis), seed, "sad min;" Ic. sad, ditto. 

22. Rotach, storm, " Rotach na caisge Ic. rota, storm. 

96 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

23. Spreodadh, to incite ; Ic. spretta, cause to spring up. So- 

crann-spreoit, bowsprit. 

24. Mughach, gloomy ; Ic. mugga, mugginess, mist. 

25. Gemeac, distortion of the features ; Ic. geme, gibe. 

26. Bocan, a hobgoblin ; Ic. bakn, a big monstrous thing. 

27. Gliom (R.D.), a mild tussle, or = Gaelic starradh; Ic. glima, 


28. Ruparachdh (Suther.), scandalmongering ; Ic. hropa,, 

slander, defame. 

29. Taibhse, a spectre ; Ic. tafsi, a scrfp, shred. 

30. Misgiord, indecent behaviour ; Ic. misgord, transgression. 

31. Calamand, stout ; geirse (Sutherland), madness ; cumpann- 

ach, a mate. Compare these Ic. words of like meanings, 
halmand, geisa, and kumpann. 

32. Mur, a bulwark ; Ic. murr, a wall. 

33. The Sutherland word olach, hospitable, may be from 

orlatr, Ic., open-handed, or from Ic. 61, ale. 

34. Fuigh, an exclamation used on feeling any unpleasant 

smell ; Ic. fui, rottenness. 

35. Huskus, a word for calling a cow ; Ic. kuskus, ditto. 

36. Tuadhi, a word for calling a bull; Ic. tuddi, ditto. 

37. Ciomball, bundle (Lewis), " ciomball fraoich ;" Ic. kimbill, 


38. Ceiss, round belly ; " Is ann air tha a cheis ;" Ic. keisi,, 


39. Crebeilt, garter ; Ic. knebelti, ditto. 

40. Cuidhe, snow wreath ; Ic. kufr, heap over. 

41. Ulldaich, a night stalker; Ic. hulda, to hide. 

I have no doubt but that a great proportion of these words will 
be found to be only cognate. Concerning some, too, I suspect the 
fact is, that instead of our getting them from the Norsemen, the 
Norsemen got them from us. Cleaseby, however, does not 
acknowledge Gaelic as the source of any word that I have given, 
but then he does not do that in regard to kro, a pen ; hverr, a 
cauldron, and others which Vigfusson proves to have been got 
from us. 

The mingling of a foreign race with the Celts of the North of 
Scotland, and the contact of the two languages over a longer or 
shorter period, could not fail to produce phonetic peculiarities in 
the Gaelic of these districts. These peculiarities are appreciable, 
but they have been so modified by local surroundings that it may 
be difficult to make general statements that will hold true in all 
the districts. 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 97 

1. The softening of tennis to medials a general feature of 
modern Gaelic, is most prevalent in the Northern districts. Clag, 
a bell, Lewis and Sutherland, glag. So " an gomhnuidh" for " an 
comhnuidh" ; "an drasda" for "an trathsa." In Lewis they say 
" d' athair" for " t' athair," and though we keep the t in t' atliair 
in Sutherlandshire, we show the tendency by saying " do d' athair." 

2. Our treatment of the liquids 1, m, n, r, is peculiar, [n 
Lewis and in Sutherland (1) n before g is dropped, " tarruig" and 
" fuluig" for " tarruing" and " fuluing" ; (2) n after g becomes r, 
"grothuich" for "guothuich," " gruis" for " gnuis." In Suther- 
landshire, at leash, we change n between the two vowels into r, 
"airm" for "ainm," " m' aramsa" for " m' anamsa," by my soul. 
In Sutherlandshire we take the harder forms of 1, in, r, but uni- 
formly change the vowels around them. 

r. " Cura" for " caora," " an irridh" for " an uraidh," 
" darus" for "dorus." 

1. " Bollan" for " ballan," a wooden vessel ; " damhan-olluidh" 

for " damhan-alluidh " " soult" for " suit." 

In Lewis, on the other hand, they take the softer forms of these 
consonants, indeed, their T sounds more like " dh" than anything 
else, buaradh, Lewis buadhadh. These consonants do not there- 
fore maintain the necessary distinctness in the words, indeed they 
sometimes disappear altogether. The Lewis-men says " fea'inn"' 
for " feamainn." For this want of distinctness in consonants they 
have to make up by giving more attention to their vowels, and 
that is probably the reason why they are more sensitive in that 
respect than their relatives on the mainland. 

3. "Sr" is a Gaelic combination, but it is not to be found in 
Norse, and we in the North under this foreign influence insert a t 
between the two letters, e.g., " struth," " streang." 

4. We do not show the appreciation of old and rare forms that 
the pure Celt, to whom the language has been a traditional inheri- 
tance, does. Our dialects yet bear traces of the learner's tend- 
ency to make rules go too far in such forms as "tinneachan" for 
' tinntean," " dromaichean" for " domannan," " ainmean" for 

We were considering different aspects of the Norse occupation 
that were likely to make it influential in affecting our language 
and literature. We showed some of the effects of that event in 
our language, and that they are not more numerous and striking 
is only one of many instances that prove to show how much the 
survival of a language depends upon social and political circum- 
stances. In tracing the influence of this event in our literature, 


98 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

we shall consider (1) How far we find the historical facts reflected 
in our writings and popular idea ; (2) Consider what we got from 
them by way of communicated ideas, i.e., through the medium of 
proverb and tale ; (3) Make a comparison of general characteristics. 

1. Our tales and ballads are the only part of our literature 
that lead us back to the 'period which we have been considering. 
These are, as we should expect, founded to a great extent upon 
historic facts. Historical exactness in such a species of literature 
is, of course, not to be looked for. Only events that fixed them- 
selves upon the popular mind from tUfeir greatness, their strange- 
ness, or from their being a matter of general observation, could 
live through such a method of transmission. In these, especially 
in the tales, the Lochlinnich act one of the most prominent 
parts. They are represented as the common enemies of Alba and 
Erinn and the constant opponents -of the Feinn. They had the 
knowledge of imparting magic power to weapons, but although in 
this superior to the Feinn, they are represented as going to them 
to learn " draoidheachd," a testimony to the ancient greatness of 
Ireland as the " Light of the West." The original home of the 
Lochlinnich is a bare cold country, where people [stick to the 
earth with frost, but their headquarters are generally represented 
as being about the Hill of Howth, near Dublin. They were 
invincible by sea, and even on land Fionn is often worsted by 
them, and is " alive and no more," when some happy event takes 
place that changes the aspect of affairs. They are made to follow 
up their victories and take advantage of the absence of the Feinn 
by imposing " cess." 

Among the historical characters recognisable in these Tales 
are Goodred Crovan, who, in 1079, seized the Norse kingdom of 
Man, and attempted to subdue the Hebrides and King Magnus 
Bareleggs. In the tales the former of these goes by the name of 
Cronal Crobhie, and is represented as rising out of a humble 
station, bringing kings to terms with him by spoiling their lands, and 
as showing great resources in extricating himself out of difficulties. 
Magnus, who was slain in Munster in 1103, is known under the 
name of Manus. He is represented as making several invasions 
upon Ireland with more or less success, but as being at last slain 
with his whole army by the Feinn. 

These tales bring us back to a state of society that has 
features that are non-Celtic. We hear of wives being bought, of 
heroes having some of their most trying conflicts with females, 
and a punishment we find inflicted upon criminals is the cutting 
off from them of a strip of skin from the head to the heel. These 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 99 

are doubtless traditional reminiscences of Scandinavian customs 
that were once observed in this country. In Iceland, in heathen 
times, when a man married a wife he had to pay for her a sum of 
money proportionate to his rank. If this were not done, the issue 
of the marriage were held to be illegitimate. There are also 
several examples in Scandinavian history of female adventurers 
having the command of fleets. The author of the " Wars of the 
-Gaels " gives us the names of the leaders of a fleet of pirates that 
-wasted Munster, and that some of these were women we learn 
from the female name of Audunn, and the popular appellation of 
Ighean Ruadh, by which another was known. We can easily 
understand how such a matter would live, and be exaggerated in 
the tales, when more important but more prosaic events would 
fall out of memory. The barbarous method of punishment referred 
to would also seem to have been practised among the Norsemen, 
for we find evil doers in their tales subjected to it. 

Donald Duagald, the hero of Sutherlandshire tales, has by some 
been identified with Donald Mackay, Baron Reay, who lived in 
1628. On what grounds this was done, I cannot say; I suspect they 
must have been very slight. His name, however, would seem to 
mark him as a Dane, who were called Dubh-Ghalls, in opposition to 
the Fionn-Ghalls or Norwegians. How he came to be considered 
the possessor of so much supernatural power we cannot now 
discover. Probably rapidity of movement and a powerful influence 
in other regions explains it all. In Sutherland tales, however, 
" Donald" is the name given to all personified objects. We even 
call sleep " Bomhnull Samhach," and Satan is called " Domhnull 
Dubh ;" and this magician may be only the personal representa- 
tive of a fleet of Danish j i rates. 

Scandinavian paganism is comparatively late : it is nearer to us 
by five centuries than Druidic paganism. We should therefore expect 
to find its shadows cast more clearly in popular customs and traditions 
than those of the other. And this is certainly so. Logan found 
that in Orkney, even as late as the beginning of this century, 
lovers used to go by night to the ruins of heathen temples and 
call upon Woden to witness their vows. As late as the seventeenth 
century, bulls were sacrificed to saints on the West Coast. Here 
is a story in connection with the little village of Halmadary, on 
the top of Strathnaver, which, in my opinion, illustrates nothing 
.more than the terrible power and tenacity of Norse heathen ideas. 
The Fear of Halmadary had begun to hold prayer meetings at his 
Jiouse, and the inhabitants of the surrounding district attended 
them. One day after the people had assembled, and the services 

100 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

were proceeded with, a large raven was seen, in the dim light,, 
sitting on the "coilbh." The worshippers all instinctively felt 
that it was an evil spirit, and they became conscious of a dark and 
powerful fascination. Meanwhile the curiosity of the neighbours 
around was aroused by seeing that, though it was getting late, the 
meeting was not being dismissed. One after another went in to- 
see what might be the reason, but, once in, they were seized with 
the spirit that possessed the worshippers and they did not return 
to tell the tale. The night passed, ana so did the following day 
and night, and the meeting was net dismissed. At the end of 
that time the people who had assembled from the country around! 
decided to take the roof off the house, and when this was done 
the spell that bound the worshippers was broken. It is said, 
however, that some of them never shook off the effects of the 
influence under which they were brought, and that they showed 
great reluctance in telling how they had been engaged during 
that time. It, however, transpired that they had decided to offer 
a human sacrifice to the spirit, and that the victim fixed upon was. 
the Fear's son. A servant in the house had enough of reason left 
to protect the child, and thus a terrible crime was prevented. 

The good people of Sutherlandshire called this event Tniteanu 
Halmadary, and not wishing that so much dark superstition should' 
ever be seen associated with Christian worship, they discourage 
enquiring into it. The general idea is that the event took place 
about the end of the seventeenth century. My own opinion is 
that the story takes us back to the time when the Norse settlers 
were renouncing Paganism, or at least to a period when Thor was 
yet an object of popular dread. Thor is always represented as the 
determined foe of all who forsook the old faith, and he had two 
ravens, Mind and Memory, which acted for him in the world. 
Some such beliefs as these would seem to have been held by the 
people of this retired Norse hamlet, and to have led to their 
putting into practice some of the worst features of the religion of 
their ancestors. 

As the Norsemen lived chiefly around the coast, we should' 
naturally expect to fiud some survival of their ideas and ways 
among fishermen. A peculiarity of the superstitions of fishermen 
aloujj the north and west coasts is the efficacy that they attribute to 
article's belonging to women or used in household work. On the 
ea>t coa>t of Caithness the fisherman's wife throws a besom after 
him to insure his catching herring, In Uist I am told there is a 
belief that if one goin on a trip takes a spoon with him he is- 
cei tain to have fair wind going and coming. I was also told by 

The Influence of the Norse Invasion. 101 

an old woman in Sutherlandshire that some of her husband's 
crew went to consult a wise woman that they might get fish. 
She told them to take a woman's ring and tie it in a piece of 
worsted cloth, and put it in the "ear of the baulk." The 
existence of such ideas are all the more striking when we remember 
that nothing is thought to be more unlucky than to talk of 
women or land affairs on the sea. These customs are probably 
remnants of the appeals of the old Norsemen to their female 
divinities. Frsyja, who was believed to teach women household 
work, was with her son, Niord, held to be the giver of all 
temporal prosperity. I find from Dasent that after the intro- 
duction of Christianity the mantle of this benignant goddess fell 
upon a half mythical being of the name of " Holda" (the satis- 
fying). Does this explain the continual use in northern parts of 
the glaringly heathen expressions, " Gu 'm beannaich seala thu" 
or " Gu 'n gleidh seala thu," to preserve against the influence of 
the " evil eye." 

2. We find in our literature many ideas that had their original 
home on Scandinavian soil. The heroes are clearly endowed with 
many of the characteristics of the fighting Norwegian gods. Fionn 
like Thor has a hammer, the stroke of which can be heard all over 
the world. Like Odin he is continually seeking for knowledge. 
Then in tales all over the Highlands we find men gaining super- 
natural knowledge by tasting the flesh of ' serpents, others cast 
into deep sleep by a poisoned thorn being thrust into them, 
animals being brought alive by their bones being wrapped up in 
their skin and a charm pronounced over the whole. These ideas 
are all peculiar to Norse mythology, and are all found in the 

If we are to judge by the similarity between the Gaelic tales 
collected by Campbell, and those collected in Norway by Dasent, 
we should be inclined to think that two-thirds of the material of 
Highland tales were derived from the Scandinavian settlers. 
Between many of the tales we find an agreement in all the main 
features. We shall find an illustration of that by comparing 
Tale IV. in Mr Campbell's Collection with " Shortshanks" in 
Dasent's work. In the Gaelic tale we read that a three-headed 
'" uilbheist" living in the sea had acquired a right to a prince's 
daughter. The prince promised her in marriage to any one 
who should save her from the awful danger. A gallant 
suitor ofters to go and fight for her, but at sight of the 
monster he loses heart and flees. The prince's servant, 
who had a magic sword, goes and defends the lady, and 

102 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

puts the " uilbheist" to flight after striking off one of its heads^ 
The servant receives a ring from the lady in acknowledgment of 
his bravery, and the head of the monster is sent to the prince. 
But as the lady is returning home her faint-hearted suitor meets- 
her, takes possession of the head, and forces her by threats to- 
declare him to be her deliverer. The next day the monster 
returns, the servant renews the fight, and he loses a second head. 
The same incidents take place as before ; and so on the third 
day. At the end of that time the suitor demands of the prince 
the hand of his daughter in accordance with his promise. 
The justice of his claim is admitted, but the princess- 
declares she will marry only the man who can take the heads of 
the dragon oft' the twig on which they were put, and who will 
produce the jewels given away by her. This, of course, leads to- 
the natural and desired conclusion. 

In the Norse tale the three characters are a princess, a knight, 
and a servant with a magic sword. The enemy in this case are 
three ogres from beyond the sea. The parts acted by the char- 
acters are the same, the only difference being in the means chosen 
to bring the deception to light. 

A number of proverbs, perhaps more than we yet know of,, 
clearly came to us through these settlers. I give a few examples. 

1. Is lorn guallain gun bhrathar Bare is one's back unless he- 

have a brother (Burnt Njal). 

2. Is righ duine na thigh fern Everybody is somebody at 
home (Guest's Wisdom). 

3. Chan fhiosrach mar feoraies Who asks will become wise 


In others we can detect Norse ideas, or the spirit that their 
rule inspired. " Tha fios fithich agad" was probably suggested by 
Odin's ravens that communicated everything to him. ''Isfuar 
gaoth nan coimheach" and others of like meaning show no friendly 
feeling towards the foreigners. 

(3). We can thus see that much of the bones and the sinews of 
our literature was supplied by the Scandinavians. The spirit that 
enlivens this body must, to a great extent, be their's too. The 
impress of their character alone could not perish, as their 
language did, but then that character itself survives. Probably 
most of our bards are by nature as much Scandinavian as they 
are Celtic. No doubt this living influence has tended to do away 
in our literature* with much that need not be missed. Celts, as a 
race, have been accused of being the victims of a reckless 
imagination, of having a fund of enthusiasm so boundless that 

Sutherland Place Names. 103 

they can get crazy over trifles, and of having the habit of painting 
the absent and unattainable in such attractive hues as to make 
the sober present intolerable. That there is something in the 
charge we are not careful to deny. Liveliness of sentiment is 
certainly a characteristic of our race. It is a great endowment, 
saving the character from tameness, and making a people original, 
adventurous, and patriotic. But it has its dangers, and one who 
has only a very slight knowledge of the history and the literature 
of the Celtic races will perceive that they have all, more or less, 
fallen into them. In every field of thought they are prone to 
extravagance. They see visions and they dream dreams ; they 
howl and rant over things that have no existence outside of their 
own minds. To counteract this tendency, our acquaintance with 
the Norsemen, with their love of reality and their fear of self- 
deception, was the antidote that we needed, and our contact with 
them has brought us lasting advantages. The Gael of Scotland 
has yet, it is to be hoped, enough of sentiment for all useful 
purposes, but he certainly has a reputation for sanity and com- 
mon sense which his relatives in France and Ireland never had. 
Our literature, limited though it be, has, in addition to its purely 
Celtic merits, a restraint a*nd an earnestness that will increase 
its value for mankind. Even Rob Donn, with his keen 
appreciation of life, his absorbing sympathy with his fellow men, is, 
in spite of a reckless dash we can find in him, a born sage. He 
cannot get over the fact that life is a more serious thing than most 
men are inclined to make it, and the distinction between right 
and wrong in spirit and action has to him a sacred dignity. 

27th FEBRUARY, 1895. 

The following gentlemen were elected members of the Society 
at this meeting, viz. : Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque, Ross-shire, 
life member; and Mr John Mackay, editor, Celtic Monthly, Glasgow, 
an ordinary member. Thereafter Mr Wm, Mackay, honorary 
secretary, read a paper contributed by Mr John Mackay, Hereford, 
on " Sutherland Place Names Parish of Lairg and Creich." Mr 
Mackay's paper was as follows : 


This parish once extended from the confines of Dornoch and 
Creich right away to the Minch, and included the ancient 

104 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

divisions of Brae-chat, Diri-meanigh, Diri-mor, and Edderachylis, 
till ecclesiastical requirements, upon the inti eduction of Pro- 
testantism, and more particularly Presbyterianism, rendered it 
necessary to alter the boundaries of certain parishes in the county, 
and form new parishes for religious and civil purposes. In the 
early part of the eighteenth century, the district of " Edderachylis'' 
was taken from Lairg and constituted into a parish of itself, the 
" Parph" part of it being annexed to Durness. Sir R. Gordon, of 
the "Genealogy" renown, states, j*f>. 9-10, "Although Edder- 
achylis doth appertyn at this day (1620) to Macky, yet it was 
never a pairt of Strathnaver, bot it wes a portion of the baronie 
of Skelbo in Sutherland, and hath been a pairt of the parish of 

The parish, as now constituted, is 24 miles long, and varying 
in breadth from 6 to 12 \ miles, a land area of 121,358 acres; 
the greater portion of the cultivated land lying round the village 
of Lairg and the northern shore of Loch-Shin at Shinness. the 
scene of the late Duke of Sutherland's costly but unremunerative 
reclamation works. 

From the village of Lairg to the Minch, in a north-westerly 
direction, runs a chain of lakes and conjoined rivers, forming a 
fitting " pass " for a canal or a railway were other considerations 
and auspices propitious. The "Shin," 16^ miles in length, 270 
feet above sea level; the " Griam," If mile, 304 feet; the 
' Merkland," 2 miles, 367 feet : the " Lochmore," 4|- miles, 140 
feet; the "Stack," 2 miles, 118 feet above sea level, thence to 
the sea through Loch-Laxford. 

In this parish are fifty other lakes of much repute for angling. 
Sinking in the extreme south along the Shin -to 120 feet above 
sea level, the aspect of the parish is everywhere hilly and 
mountainous on its northern confines reaching altitudes of nearly 
3000 feet, presenting few geological features of much interest. 
The prevailing rocks are granite and trap ; limestone exists on 
the northern shore of Loch-Shin, probably an off-shoot from the 
great belt of limestone running diagonally through to Durness. 

The cultivated land is chiefly light gravelly loam, mixed with 
. lying in a clayey subsoil. The uplands are generally 
covered with peat and heather, valuable for pasture, grouse, 
and hog-fir. The antiquities in this parish are few, consisting of 
s. .-ailed Pictish towers, or their ruins, called by the natives 
" Fiagalian," and near them are found, as in many other parts of 
the parish, tumuli and hut circles, where the ancient inhabitants 
\\eiv Imrird, whether slain in battle by the spear or sword, or cut 
down by the scythe of death, where they had lived. 

Sutherland Place Names. 105 

In 1801 the population was 1209, when a great number of the 
tmanhood of the parish was enrolled in the 93rd Regiment and 
other Highland corps, serving at home and abroad. In 1841 the 
population dwindled to 913, increasing in 1871 to 978, and in 
1881 to 1355. 

In this parish was born the famous Samuel Macdonald, familiarly 
called " Big Sam," a veritable giant, seven feet four inches in height, 
and proportionately strong. His feats of strength, at home and in 
the army, have been told and retold for years round firesides in 
Sutherland. In the churchyard are two notable monuments, the 
one recording the virtues of two Mackay ministers, father and 
son, who officiated in the parish for 99 years, from 1714 to 1803, 
and of two brave and gallant sons of the latter Captain Hugh, 
who headed the last cavalry charge at the battle of Assaye in 
1803, and secured to Wellington his maiden victory; Captain 
William, of the East India Company's Naval Service, whose 
relation of the shipwreck of the "Juno" formed the groundwork 
of Byron's celebrated epic " Don Juan," which fact Thomas Moore 
pronounced to be the only instance he knew of prose excelling 
poetry. The other monument, erected in 1880 to Sir James 
Matheson, Bart, of Achany and the Lews, is a splendid structure. 
Sir James was a nephew of the above two officers, his mother 
'being their eldest sister. He was born at Shinness in 1796 ; died 


Ben-Hee G. beinn-na-sith, or beinn-an-t-sith, ben-shidhe. 
Sith in various forms is seen as a prefix in many mountain names 
in Ireland and Scotland. The Irish definition of the word sidhe 
or sithe is invariably " fairy." Whether a prefix or suffix, sidhe is 
fairy, sidhean is the fairy hillock, which, too, is the acceptation of 
this word in the Highlands of Scotland. Ben-Hee is situated in 
the centre of the great Reay Forest, far away from any habitation 
of man. If it be Beinn-an-t-sith, the definition would be mountain 
of tranquil solitude. 2864 feet 

Ben-Sgreamhaidh G. sgreamhaidh, sgremhach, sgreamhail, 
abhorrent, horrid, the horrid mountain. 1428 feet. 

Cnoc-bhaid-bhan G. cnoc, hill ; bhaid, gen. of bad, thicket or 
.grove, and ban, pale, hoary; the hill of the pale or hoary grove. 
Arm. bod, hot. Heb. bad, grove. 1264 feet. 

Cnoc-maol-a-bliealaidh G. cnoc-maol, bare or bald hill ; a 
bhealaidh, gen. of bealaidh, broom. Arm. balan. Fr. balai, a 
broom. Frenchmen make brooms of this shrub. 1673 feet. 

Cnoc-a-ghreim G. greim, pain, hill of pain ; possibly in allu- 
sion to the pain or fatigue in climbing it. 1220 feet. 


106 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cnoc-a-choire G. coire, hollow in a mountain side, corrie ; hill 
of the corrie. 

Cnoc-ghuibhas G. cnoc-a-ghuibhais, guibhas, nom., fir-wood,, 
hill of the fir-wood. 1035 feet. 

Cnoc-Sgeivach G. sgeivach, rocky ; the rocky hill. 1780 feet. 

Creag-riabhach G. riabhach, brindled rock. 1573 ft. 

Creag-dhubh-mhor G. the big black rock, or mountain ; du, 
G. black ; Ir. dubh ; Manx, W., Corn., Arm. du ; Heb. and Punic 
dua ; Malay du, black ; Chal. dutha, ink* Heb. din., ink. 1821 ft. 

Creag-na-h-iolaire G. rock of the eagle. 1243 ft. 

Grianan-a-choire G. the sunny eminence of the corry.. 
1549 ft. 

Meallau-odhar G. meallan, dim. of meall, lumpy eminence, 
generally applied to rounded hill or mountain tops, the small dun, 
lumpy eminence. Odhar G. dun; W. and Arm. moel, lumpy 
bill. Meall-a-chalpa G. the calf of the leg. We have in Eng. 
ochre, from Gr. ochros, corresponding with the G. odhar, dun. 

Meallan-a-chuaile G. cuaile, nom. cudgel, bludgeon, staff, the 
small rounded eminence of the staffs. 2460 ft. From its height 
it is more likely to be " Meallan-a-ghuaile," from the " Meallan, 
having a shoulder-like projection. 

Meallan-an-fheur-loch G. eminence of the grassy lake. 2010 ft. 

Meall-na-cloiche-gile G. eminence of tbe white stone. 1330 ft. 
G. geal, white ; W. goleu, light ; Gr. gala, milk. 

Meallan Hath mor G. the high grey eminence. 2250 ft. 

Meallan liath beag G. the low grey eminence. 1500 ft. 

Sron-na-larachan G. the headland of the ruins. 1223 ft. 


Loch-an-Staing G. lake of the trench. Arm. and Corn, 
staucg, a trench or ditch ; G. staing domhan : Arm. stancg doun, 
a deep ditch. 

Loch-a-Bhainbh G. bhainbh, gen. of bainbh, contraction of 
ban. or bain, an taobh, a sire. Ban-taobh was an ordinary expres- 
sion applied in olden times to uncultivated or fallow land. Loch- 
a-bhain-taobh contracted to Loch-a-Bhainbh, lake of the fallow or 
uncultivated side. Here the lake is an arm of Loch Shin, running 
parallel to it. The promontory thus formed is the uncultivated 
land, and its end is the Ness, which, added to the lake name, 
forms the place name Shin-ness, adjoining it. 

Loch-a-ghorm-choire G. lake of the blue corrie. 

Loch-Coire-na-Sith G. lake of the fairy corrie, This lake is. 
near " Beimi-an-t-sith," or Ben Hee. (See mountain names.) 

Sutherland Place Names. 107 

Loch Beannaichte G. the blessed lake. Ir. Lough-beannaighte ; 
Arm. Lagen benequet ; Corn, lagen beingaz ; G. Barr-beannaichte ; 
Arm. bara benniquet, blessed bread ; W. bara-bendigaid ; G. loch; 
Ir. lough ; Manx luch ; W. lluch ; Bisc. and Fr. lac ; Arm. lagen ; 
Gr. lakkos ; Lat. lac-us ; Pers. laca ; Coptic pha-lakkos. 

Loch-na-Caillich G. lake of the hag, or nun. 

Loch-na-fuar leac G. lake of the cold flagstone. 

Loch-Fiodhag* G. lake of the bird cherry ; or it may be fiod- 
hach, woody, copsy, if so, the woody lake . would be the 

Loch-Eileanach G. lake abounding in islands, which it is. 

Loch-Craggie G. Creagach, lake of the rocky banks. 

Loch-nan-Sgarbh G. lake of the cormorant or heron. 

Loch-Dulaich G. lake of the muddy banks. See place names. 

Loch-Shin G. Shin is a contraction of Sithean, round green 
mounts, or small round hills, of which there are many on the 
north and south shores of this noble lake. Near its south end,, 
and immediately below the church and manse of the Established 
Church, is an island dedicated to St Murie, St Mulray, or St 
Maolrubha, about 60 yards from the shore. Possibly this Culdee 
missionary had a cell on the island, and a coracle of his own to go 
to it and come from it, before and after the church dedicated to. 
him was built. The island for ages was regarded with veneration 
and awe by the natives. On the induction of Mr John Mackay to 
the church of Lairg in 1714, being the first Presbyterian minister 
who was settled in the parish, he experienced great difficulty in 
inducing the people to attend the church on Sundays. They, like 
most Highlanders of their day, paid more attention to the British 
Solomon's " Book of Sports " than to any Gospel ministrations 
week day or Sunday. They paid no heed to their minister's, 
remonstrances. He was a man of learning much beyond his day, 
having for several years studied hi the University of Leyden. He 
was also a man of great physical strength and undaunted courage, 
which acquired him the cognomen of the " Ministear laidir," the- 
strong minister. He was not making much headway with his 
rebellious flock. He always carried an immense cudgel in his 
hand. If his flock did not respect him for his new fangled, strict 
doctrine, they respected and feared him for his strength and big 
staff, and the manner in which he could use it at tin\es. Finding 
his remonstrances to have no effect, and Sunday sports going on 
daringly during worship time, he issued from the church, the big 
stick in hand, and compelled the players to enter the church 
before him. After locking the doors he ascended the pulpit,, 

108 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

preached, and frightened them to attend ever after, and to cease 
their sports on Sundays. He soon formed a Kirk Session, and 
with the aid of his elders began to take cognisance of every breach 
of morals. A little shoemaker was cited before the Session for 
assault and drunkenness. The culprit pled guilty, but disputed 
the authority of the Kirk Session, and indignantly refused to pay 
any penalty.* Seeing it useless to continue, the minister said to 
him, "Robert, I will talk alone with yoiyibout this. Will you meet 
me to-morrow at the loch-side at two in the afternoon?" Robert 
consented. Next day, at the appointed time and place, the 
minister and Robert met, and faced the loch-side for half-an-hour. 
The resolute Robert was as obdurate as ever. The minister gave 
up the argument at last, and said " Robert, can you swim?" 
'" Not a stroke," replied Robert ; upon which the minister grasped 
Robert by the collar of his coat with his left hand, plunged into 
the lake, and swam with his prisoner to St Murie's Isle, and landed 
him on a heap of stones, quietly saying to him" Robert, my 
man, when you come to be of a better frame of mind you can tell 
me so. I'll hear your cries at the manse, and send the ferry boat 
for you. In the meantime you had better walk about and not 
catch cold." The minister swam back to the shore, gave orders 
that the ferry boat should not go to the island without his orders 
and permission, and walked down to the manse. When Robert 
recovered somewhat, his first cries were threats of vengeance. He 
would complain to the Sheriff, to the Earl, to the Court of Session, 
to the General Assembly. He would never yield. No, never. As 
soon as the shades of evening began to fall Robert became 
terrified. The island was an " eerie " spot at all hours, and 
awfully solitary at night. Thoughts of the water elf and water 
horse, that most terrible of Highland ogres, came into his mind. 
To pass a whole night alone upon the island was far more formid- 
able than any penalty the Kirk Session might inflict. At last to 
the manse came the cry, " Take me out of this, Mr Mackay, I'll 
submit and never again offend." The boat was sent for him, 
Robert returned home humbled and penitent, and the minister's 
supremacy was secured. 

Loch AJerkland A. S. Merk, a coin value 13s 4d Scots, applied 
t<> valuation of land ; there were penny lands, four penny, as well 
as merk land*. A place not far oif is named Midpenny. 

Loch of Treasure, Na-h-ulaidh G. ula., long rank grass, lake 
of the long rank grass ; there is a river and glen of the same name 
proceeding from this lake. Ulaidh, of the map, must be a 
mistake ; it means treasure, and also pack-saddle, unlikely names 
for a lake. 

Sutherland Place Names. 

Allt bhuin bheag, Allt bhuin mhor G. Allt, stream, torrent ; 
bhuin, gen. of buin, base, or bottom of the stream ; beag and mor, 
relative adjectives of size, the stream of the small base, the stream 
of the larger base. 

Allt-a-chairn bheag, Allt-a-chairn mhor G. chairn, gen. of 
cairn, heaps of stones, beag and mor as above, stream of the small 
heaps of stone, and stream of the large heaps. 

Allt steall a choire G. steall, spout, cataract ; choir, gen. of 
coire, corrie, or hollow in a mountain side, stream of the corrie 

Allt lag iia-cuilean G. lapr, a hollow, cave, or den, and euilean, 
whelp, stream of the whelp's den. 

Cuilionn, holly, has very nearly the same pronunciation as 
euilean, whelp, hence it may signify the hollow of the holly. 

Cuilean G. euilean, Ir., Corn, coilean, Arm. galen. 

Cuilionn G. cuileann, Arm. gelenen, Cor. gelen, Arm. ceyln W. 

Allt domhain G. the deep stream. 

Allt-na-claise mor G. claise, trench, extended hollow, stream 
of the big hollow; Ir. clais, pro. clash, trench; Manx, clash, 
furrow : W. clais, a stripe ; Arm., Cor. clais, claiz, cleis, cleez. 

Arnhainn Tirrie G. pro. terrie, said to mean tuireadh, 
lamentation. Near this river, on a rising ground, was fought, in 
1561, a severe conflict between the Sutherlands and Mackays, the 
latter being defeated. Some years after the battle of Druim-na- 
cupa, near Tongue, where the aged Mackay Chief, Angus Du, was 
shot by a Shinness man lurking in a bush, after the fight was 
over. This man was some years after slain by William du 
Abrach, grandson of Angus Du, while crossing the river Tirrie. 
These events were not sufficient to cause the river to be named 
" Amhainn-taireadh," river of lamentation. Then we must try to 
find a more probable derivation. It seems to be in itself. Tirrie 
is Diri (dithreabh), wilderness, or, as the word itself implies when 
analysed, unploughed, uncultivated lands, from diordith, without, 
or want of, and treabhadli, ploughing, or cultivation. Diri is the 
corrupted form of " Dithreabh," as given in old maps and charters. 
It is an approximate pronunciation of " Dithreabh." The river 
Tirrie having its sources in the " Dirimeanigh," the ancient 
appellation of the district took its name from it, a most appro- 
priate appellation. See Place Names. 

Amhainn-a-choire G., river of the corrie. 

Amhainn-a-ghrudaire G. See Gruids in Place Names. This 
river, like many others, takes its name from the Barony of Gruids 
or Grudie, through which it flows. 

110 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Amhainn-sgeithe G. sgeithe, is vomiting, belching out. This 
is an exceedingly rapid mountain torrent when in flood, vomiting 
its waters into the Tirrie a a most furious rate ; falls more than 
200 feet in a mile. 

Feth-a-chuile Another affluent of the Tirrie ; chuile is the 
gen. of cuil, back corner. It rises in a corner behind the Tirrie. 
Feith is a marshy stream; hence its signification, the marshy 
stream from the back. 

Feith Osdail Feith, as above, ftarshy stream, is Gaelic. 
Osdail is from the Norse, oss, mouth of a river ; and dal, meadow, 
the meadow at the river mouth. Here, LO doubt, the Norsemen 
hunted and summered. 


An Crasg G. a common appellation in Sutherland for a way 
across a mountain from one plac-i to another ; crasgach, crosswise. 

Achanny G. old form (1560), Auchanne (1586), Auchanny ; 
Abhadh-a-chanaich, field of the moss cotton. 

Achafris G. Achadh-a-phris, field of the bush, from preas, 
bush ; gen., phris. 

Ach-na-pearain G. Achadh-na-peurain, field of the pears. 

Allt tigh-leanna G. the ale-house brook, a habitation and land 
by the side of the old road from Lairg to Altnaharra and Tongue. 
The house is long ago gone ; the name with its story and patch 
of green sward remains. 

Arscaig G. corruption and contraction of Aird-na-Sgiathaig, 
when rapidly pronounced. It refers to a township south side of 
Loch Shin, well sheltered by tufts of copsewood. Skiag, Sgiathaig, 
a common appellation of such situated places in Sutherland. 

Balloan G. bale-an-loin, the township by the marshy meadow. 

Ballandialish G. baile-an-diolaidh, the place where fines are 
paid, and recompense made. 

Balnatobernich-G. baile-na-tobraichean, the township of the 
wells or springs of water. 

Balcharn G. baile-a-chairn, the township of the cairn or stone 

Badan G. dim. of bad, a grove or clump of trees, applied to 
a habitation near a clump of trees. 

Claonel G. old form of charters (1554), Clunok (1560), Cly- 
nall, modern spelling, Claonail, inclining, side-lying. This town- 
ship is situated on small declivities. Gr. Klino. 

Ceann-nar-coille G. head or end of the wood. W. Pencoed, 
end of the wood. 

Sutherland Place Names. Ill 

Carn-an-eilde G. the cairn of the hind. Ir. earn. W. earn a 

Coire-nam-mang G. the corrie of the fawns. 

Coire leacach G. the flaggie corrie. 

Corry-Kinloch G. coire-ceami-an-loch, corrie at end of the 

Colaboll Taking this word as given in Ord. map, we must give 
a Norse translation of it. Cola means Kola, charcoal, and bol 
-abode, cultivated farm, equivalent to G. baile ; hence the definition 
would be, the charcoal township. If the Norsemen settled here 
in the 10th or llth century, it is very possible, finding wood here 
on the banks of Loch Shin, they would convert it into charcoal 
for the manufacture of arms. Sutherland traditions impute to 
them a determined passion for wood-burning and destruction. 
Finding the natives well armed with iron implements of war, 
manufactured by charcoal, they destroyed the woods to prevent 
their manufacturing them, peat being then unknown and unused 
for fuel. The more probable origin of this place-name is not 
Norse, for very few, if any, place-names in this inland parish can 
"be attributed to the Norse, it seems to be 

Cul-na-buaile G. the back corner of the cattle fold. 

Cul-mhaillidh G. back part belonging to the Bailie, or cuil- 
a-bhaillidh, cuil, plu. of cul, back, the back parts, or grounds 
belonging to the Bailie. 

Cuil-bhuidhe G. cuil, sing., a back corner. Cuil, plu., back 
parts and places. It requires much local knowledge and discrimi- 
nation to properly determine what sense was intended to be given 
to the prefixes, Cul and Cuil. It may have been a corner, or it 
may have been back parts beyond a hill or rising ground. 

Crionoch-mhor G. literally, the big withered tree, which was 
probably near the place to which it gave the name. 

Dalchork G. dail-a-choire, the field upon which oats were 
.grown, the oats field. 

Diri-meanigh Such in Charters G. dithreabh meadhonach 
<dithreabh, uncultivated waste. Meadhonach, in the middle, the 
middle district or part of the waste ; otherwise, the Mid Ascent. 

Dirie-more G. as above ; the big waste, or wilderness, or the 
big ascent. 

Duchaimich G, du-chairnich, black, stony ground. 

Dulaich G. muddy, miry ground or land. 

Druim-na-uamha G. ridge of the cavern, or cave. 

Drochaid-a-chrasg G. the Crasg, or Crask bridge ; drochaid, 
to be the Gaelic name for a bridge, is very singular, being derived 

112 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

from droch-aite, bad or dangerous place to cross ; W. drwg ; Arm., 
droog, bad. Our Caledonian fathers had not yet learned the art 
of bridge building, or if they had made an attempt to bridge a 
stream or a river, it probably would be by throwing a tree over it, 
a dangerous mode of crossing a river in flood ; possibly from thi& 
came the Gaelic term, drochaid, for bridge. 

Dalmhichy G. dail-mheidh-eiche, meadow of the stallion. 

Dalnamein G. dail of the ore, probably bog iron. 

Dalnaminn G. Dail of the kids. 

Garbhallt G. rough or rapid stream or river. The adjective 
pirbh seems very general. G. gar oh, Manx garoo, W. garw, 
Corn, garou, Arm. garv, Punic and Phenician garvv, Arab, garaph, 
Lat. gravis ; pronunciation similar ; applied meaning, the same. 

Gruids now a township, formerly a barony. G. if it took its- 
appellation from malting and brewing; old form (1560), Grudy 
and Gruids, Grudear, is in G. maltster, brewer, distiller, or a 
tavern-keeper, who possibly combined the other operations 
necessary for the tavern. Gruid, Gruide, singular and plural, 
is the grounds of malt, not significant enough in those days to 
give a name to a place which must have had a name before malt- 
ing or brewing came into vogue. It is therefore more probably of 
Caledonian Pictish origin. Grnt, Grud, grit stones strewed on 
the surface, and such is the aspect of the township and Barony to 
this day. There is Grudie, or Gruidee, in Rogart, and elsewhere 
in the county, all situated alike on valley flanks, and their surface 
similarly strewn with stones, small and large. Grut, Grud, 
Grudie, all form the first part of the adjective, grudeach, liquified 
to gruideach, the old meaning of which was grit, and grit stones,, 
hence Gruids would mean stony, gritty land ; W. grut, Arm. grit, 

In the Norse language the word " grjot " means pebbles, grit. 
This Norse or Teutonic word is the root of the English word grit, 
from Norse grjot, shingle or pebbles. A. S. greot, grytt. 

Lairg G. Parish, and village name, old form (1223) Larg ; 
(1574) Lairg; (1662) Largie ; (1515 and 1568) Larg.' It is 
evident that this appellation is Gaelic. Lairig means hill slopes ; 
I^irg, Lurg, Luirg, Luirgean, base of hills, extending into a plain ; 
Learg, Leirg, Leargan, slope of declivities. 

Of this place name there are several instances in the south of 
Ireland, such as Lemg, Largy ; and in the north, Lurg, Lurga,. 
Lurgan, Lurraga, all signifying hill slopes. See Joyce, Vol. I. II. 

The whole aspect of Lairg confirms the opinion that Lairg was 
named from the hill slopes surrounding the village in which the 

Sutherland Place Names. 113 

first Christian place of worship was erected and dedicated to St 
Maolrubha, the noted missionary and disciple of St Columba. 
The village with a church gave importance to the locality, the 
name of which was eventually extended to the whole parish. 
Such was done elsewhere. 

Leac-an-eich G. the stone of the horse. 

Midpenny Anglicised form of Peighinn meadhonach ; peighimi 
being a penny value, as a measure of land. 

Ord (The) G. a hammer of any kind or size. Manx oard, a 
hammer, oayrd, a sledge hammer ; Ir. a hammer, ordan, a small 
hammer ; W. gordd, a mallet ; Corn, and Arm. orth, a hammer ; 
N. urd, pro. urth, a large pile of rocks by the seashore in the form 
of a mallet, as the Ord of Caithness, very probably so named by 
the roving Norsemen. Here the name seems to represent the 
form and shape of a hammer, the thin end of which juts into the 
south end of Loch Shin to a point, rising gradually from the lake 
to a flat area on the summit, upon which may be seen hut circles, 
the ancient abodes of the Pictish inhabitants. 

Overscaig, now a noted angling resort on the north bank of the 
Shin lake. Quite near it runs into the Shin a rapid, roaring 
mountain torrent, falling in the 1J miles of its course 470 leet ; 
dry in summer, but in winter, or after a heavy fall of rain, 
plunging down an impetuous, irresistible volume of water 
tumbling over boulders and rocks in such a way that every 
obstacle or impediment to its violence forms a cascade ; hence 
its apellation Overscaig, corrupted from the O.G. Abereasaich 
Abereas-aig in modern form, signifying the " confluence of the 
cascade torrent." 

Rhian-brec G. ruighan, dim. of ruigh, declivity, brec, breac, 
speckled, the small speckled slope. 

Rhi marstaig G ; corruption of rhi-martaich, the hillside of 
the cows, or the sloping declivity upon which they were wont to 
graze. It is a common usage of Highlanders to introduce when 
pronouncing a word having rt in a syllable an s between the r and 
( t, making such a word as mart marst. In several Highland 
counties it is an inveterate practice, and in reading mart, 
martaich, they pronounce them as if printed marst, marstaich. 
Rhi, the old form of the Caledonian Pictish Gaelic, is still pre- 
served in Sutherland, as it is in Wales in rhiw, pro., rioo ; Com. rhi; 
Arm. ri ; Ir. and G. ruigh. 

Saval, beag and mor G. sath-bhaile, the township of plenty ; 
sath, plenty, and baile. 

Shin-ness G. ; old forms (1540) Schennynes, (1620) Eynenes. 


114 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

It seeins apparent that this place name has been composed 
anciently from the several green knolls or mounds surrounding it 
north and west, Sitheanan, contracted in speaking to " Shee- 
an-an." From this pronunciation came the old form given above ; 
the adding ness to promontory formed by Loch Bainbh gives 

Tomich G. tom-aich, fall of knolls, a Pictish word ; torn, a 
heap, a knoll ; tom-an, a small knoll ; W. torn, a heap, torn-en, a 
small heap ; Arm. tumb ; Ir. torn, a knoll ; Lat. tum-ulas, a 
mound ; Gr. tomb os, a tomb. 

Torbrec G. torr-breac, the speckled eminence. 

Torrobal G. Old form in charters of the sixteenth century, 
Thurebol and Thureboll. Below this township, which lies on both 
sides of the railway station, Lairg, is a series of conical knolls or 
hillocks, partially green. The place of the bol or baile, in this 
place-name, being the last syllable, makes it appear as if of Norse 
origin, as the practice in that language is to place bol and dal last 
in words of two syllables. If the word be of three syllables, bol is 
given the second place. In Irish and Gaelic, baile ami daile have 
generally first place, except in a few cases, such as Braigh-a-bhaile. 
" The Norsemen, so far as can be found by place-names, had not 
made a lodgement in Lairg, therefore we are less disposed to go so 
far as Norway for a definition of this place-name, and we must 
take it to be essentially Gaelic. The " tors" here being the more 
important physical aspect, must be given first place to cover the 
baile in the oblique case, the word will then become Torra-a-bhaile. 
Sliding the a in torra, according to rule, we have Torr-bhaile, not 
Torro-boll, the " tors" of the township. In the ordinary way it 
would be Baile-an-torran, township of the tors. There is another 
Torbol in the parish of Dornoch. 

Ton- is a primitive and ancient word found in all the old 
languages of the East and West. W. tur, a tower ; taren, knoll. 
Corn. tor. Arm. tur and tor. Ger. thor. Moorish dyr, a mountain; 
Taurus, a mountain in Asia Minor and in Poland. The Pied- 
montese Alps are sometimes called Taurinian, still preserved in 
Turin. Chal. and Syr. thur. Pers. toor. Lat. tur-ris, a tower. 

Clais-bhan G. ban, white, pale, fair ; the pale hollow. W. 
ban, conspicuous ; Manx banee, whitish ; Ir. ban, fair or white ; 
Arab, bain, clear ; Heb. bahin, bright. 

Clais-na-fad G. fad, foid, turf-sod, peats ; hollow of the turf- 
sods, peats, or divots. 

Clais-ha-faire G. faire, rising ground, the hollow in the rising 
ground. The a in faire is pronounced long ; the a in faire, 
watching, is short. 

Sutherland Place Names. 115 

Caplich G. cabuill, wicker basket or creel used for fishing, 
and ag, dim., small wicker basket ; Arm. cuvelle, a hose net for 
fishing. Here at a bend of the river many a salmon and trout has 
been caught by the " cabuill," which gave the place its name. 

Ceann-loch G., head or end of the loch. 

Coille-nuadh G., new wood, recently planted. Nuadh is 
.frequently spelled nomha ; Lat. nov-us ; Gr. neos ; Norse ny ; Manx 
jioa ; Arm. nene ; Fr. neuf ; W. newydd, newydh ; Corn, nawydh ; 
Eng. new ; Ir. no. 


This is one of the large parishes in Scotland, and is situated 
in the south and south-west of the county, separated from Ross by 
the Doruoch Firth on the south, and the River Oykel (the 
.Eccialbakki of the Norse sagas) on the south-west and west to the 
confines of Assynt on the Benmore water-shed. Its greatest 
length from its boundary with Dornoch parish to the borders of 
Assynt is nearly 3l miles, and its average breadth varies from 
1J- miles to 9J miles. It comprises an area of 110,737 acres, 1912 
of which being water and 735 foreshore. Its mountains range in 
.altitude from Benmore, on its western border, 3273 feet above sea 
level, the highest altitude in Sutherland, to Beinn-au-Eorn, 1783 
feet; Beinn-an-Rasail, 1341 feet; Cnoc-a-choire, 1318; and Beinn 
Donuill, in the east, 1144 feet. Its lakes and tarns are numerous, 
and well stocked with trout. Its principal rivers are the Oykel, 
the Cassley, and the Shin, all renowned for their salmon, as its 
.numerous smaller streams are for trout of various kinds. 

The aspect of this parish is mountainous, as may be seen from 
the altitudes given above. It may be said of it that it represents 
ithe general features of a Highland parish. In the valleys there is 
;good verdant pasturage, and comparatively good soil for cultiva- 
tion, yet experience of frequently recurring floods, especially in 
'the Oykell, induced the inhabitants to devote the lower-lying 
'lands to pasture, and adapt their flanks to corn-growing. The 
soil varies from the gravelly alluvial in the valleys to the peaty 
and light gravelly on the hillsides. At the east end of the parish, 
at Creich Mor, Ospisdale, and Pulrossie, good loamy clay forms 
the soil, producing excellent crops ; but on the hills above these 
places the soil is wretched, its cultivation being simply a matter 
of necessity for the bare livelihood of the population. Along the 
coast on the Dornoch Firth, from Skibo to Bonar, the land is 
well wooded, and partly along the Oykell ; along the Shin on both 
.sides, is to be seen in perfection the 

" Land of brown heath and shaggy wood." 

116 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

The greater portion of the area of the parish is in the occupation- 
of sheep farmers. The Invercassley sheep farm comprises 35,000 
acres, almost one-third of the whole area of the parish, but being 
all, or nearly all, mountain land, no objection on national 
grounds can reasonably be raised against this. 

The geology of the parish is not very interesting. On the 
western border, quartzite and trap rock abound, and lodes of iron 
ore have been found. At Rosehall, manganese has been dis- 
covered, but nowhere has shale or coal been found in course of the 
few searches which have been made. * 

There are not many antiquities in the district beyond the 
ruins of Invershin Castle, once belonging to the Duffus family, an 
offshot of the Moray-Sutherlands ; Caisteil Mearn, near Rosehall ; 
Pictish towers, tumult, and hut circles ; Druidic circle of stones at 
Rosehall, and two circles of the same kind above Bonar ; standing- 
stones at Ospisdale ; and the vitrified fort of Duncreich. 

The topography of the parish, with a few exceptions, is Celtic, 
as will be seen in Place Names. 

The population in 1801 was 1974 ; 1831, 2562 ; 1861, 2521 ; 
1871, 2524; 1881, 2223; 1891, 2013. Valuation, I860, 5466 ;. 
1882, 11,732. 

After the expulsion of the Norsemen in 1198 by William the 
Lion, that King granted this district and others, in the south of 
Sutherland, to Hugh Freskyn, a Fleming, whose ancestors had. 
been merchants and shipowners at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and 
eventually proprietors in county Berwick. Hugh had by men and 
money assisted William in his expedition into Moray shire in 1187, 
and for his services got grants of land in that county. In 1198 
he again assisted the King in his expedition into Caithness against 
Harold, the Norse Earl of Caithness and Sutherland, receiving as 
his reward Sudrland of the Norsemen. The Freskyns were styled 
" De Moravia" or Moray, the title- eventually becoming the sur- 
name Murray, as Sudrland became the title and surname Suther- 

Between 1202-14 Hugh Freskyn conveyed to his relative, 
Gilbert de Moravia, Archdeacon of Moray, and his heirs, the whole 
of this district under the names of Fernebuthlyn and Inner-chyn, 
afterwards variously described in conveyances as Feren-brtithlin, 
Ferin-beildin, Ferrin-busky, Ferrincoskarie, Chilis, Slishchelis,, 
Innerchen, Innerschyn, Invershin. 

About 1235, Gilbert, now Bishop of Cateness, grants the same- 
lands to his brother, Richard de Moravia, and his heirs. 

Sutherland Place Names. 117 

In 1275, William, Earl of Sutherland, cedes a portion of the 
parish, with the fishing of the Bunnach (Bonar) to Archibald, the 
Bishop of Cathanes. 

In 1S08, Robert Bruce, by charter, conveys the above 
districts of Cieich and other districts in Sutherland to the 
Earl of Ross, the great patriot Earl of the Highlands who 
favoured and assisted Wallace and Bruce in asserting the 
independence of Scotland and opposing Edward Longshanks 
and his myrmidons, with the result that he was the rebel 
of Edward, who dispossessed him of his Earldom, which, 
however, Bruce restored to him by the 1308 Charter with the 
Sutherland addition. Edward Bruce married this Earl's daughter. 
The Earls of Ross and their successors held the superiority of all 
these Sutherland lands till about 1476. Paul Mac-an-t-saor (Paul 
Mactyre), probably a descendant of a Norse noble of the district, 
whose residence is said to have been in Duncreich, a noted vitrified 
fort between Creich and Spinnindale, married a relative of the 
Earl of Ross, who ceded to him some of his lands in the parish. 
He seems to have been in great favour-with the Earls who suc- 
ceeded Earl Hugh, killed in 1330 at Halidon Hill. He was 
apparently in charge of all these Earls' possessions in Sutherland 
and Caithness, collecting rents and superiority dues, which, if 
tradition be relied on, he did very effectually, as it is said that, 
when arrears were unpaid, he forcibly seized cattle, and brought 
them in droves to Duncreich, to be there disposed of. He dis- 
appears in 1372. The Sutherland lands granted by Bruce to the 
Earl of Ross in 1308 were termed Ferncrosky, Ferncrosker, Farn- 
<;rossern, with Strathalladell, Dunbeath, and other districts in 

On the death of Alexander, ninth Earl of Ross, an only 
daughter was the heiress. She was grand-daughter of Regent 
Albany, who became her guardian. He prevailed upon her to 
resign the Earldom in favour of his second son and her own uncle, 
and enter a nunnery. Donald of the Isles, who had married 
Alexander's sister, Mary, and aunt of the young heiress, considered 
himself the proper heir according to Celtic custom, opposed the 
Regent's plans, and advanced his own claims to the Earldom in 
right of his wife. To strengthen his position he made a treaty 
with Henry IV. of England, and proceeded to take possession by 
force of arms. He was opposed by the Ross confederated clans, 
aided by the redoubtable Angus du Mack ay of " Strathnavernia." 
The confederates were defeated at Dingwall, Angus Du taken 
prisoner, and Ross surrendered to the Lord of the Isles. Angus 

118 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Du was released in a few months, the Lord of the Isles giving 
him his sister Elizabeth in marriage, and the whole of the parish 
of Creich and Strathalladale as her dowry. 

Angus Du in 1414 portioned out this territory amongst his 
three cousins, Thomas, Neil, and Morgan, the sons of his uncle 

In 1430, Thomas Mackay (Neilson) was attainted for slaying 
Mowatt of Freswick, and burning St Duthus Church in Tain, and 
his lands divided between Angus Murray of Pulrossie, and his 
brothers Neil and Morgan, who betrayed him and sent him prisoner 
to Inverness. 

In 1431 these three ruffians were slain in the battle of Druim- 
na-cupa, near Tongue, and all their lands reverted to the Lords of 
the Isles, who retained possession of them till their final forfeiture 
to the Crown in 1476. 

In 1464, John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, disposed of" 
Ferncroscreche, viz., Crech roor, Spanigdill, Davochcarry, Plodd, 
and Pulrossy, to his brother, Celestine of the Isles. 

In 1467 the Earl of Sutherland was infeft, by a Crown precept,, 
in the lands of Pulrossie aud Spainzidell. 

In 1515 the fishing of Kelysakkell (Kyles of Oickell) were 
granted by Sir Donald of Lochalsh to his brother-in-law, Hector 
Munro of Foulis. 

In 1541, Margaret of the Isles, wife of Glengarry, grants to 
Hector Munro of Foulis, the superiority of the lands of Creich- 

In 1553 were sold the lands of Spanzedaell, Floid, Aucheany, 
and Pulrosse. 

In 1614 John, Eail of Sutherland, was served heir to his 
father, Alexander, in the lands of Strathokell and Invercaslay, 
with the fishings belonging thereto. 

Then follow other changes, grantings of lands and fishings, of 
less note. 


Achness G. old form, 1577, achinzeis, achenes; achadh-an-eas> 
field of, or at, the waterfall. 

Auchnafairne G. old form, 1341, acheferne ; 1642, auchna- 
fairne ; achadh-an-fhearna, the field of the alder wood. 

Achinduich G. old form, auchendowech, 1525 ; ach'-an- 
dubhaich, the field of gloom or sorrow. 

Ach-uaine G. achadh uaine, the green field. 

Achadh-an-uirghill G. field of white heather ; uir and ghill,, 
gen. case, governed by an. 

Sutherland Place Names. 1.19 

Achuil G. achadh-a-chuil, the field at the back. 

Airdeens G. airdean, heights. 

Achaidh G. fields, home. This word by itself is now obsolete 
in Gaelic, except when preceded by d, as d' achaidh, dh' achaidh, 

Acharrie G. the a in arrie pronounced short. From achadh, 
field, and carradh, or carrugh, a rock or standing-stone ; achadh-a- 
charraigh, the field of the standing-stone. This place is above 
Ospisdale, in the line of the retreat of the Norsemen from the 
battle of Drumliath, behind Bonar, to their ships at Port-na-culter. 

Altas-mor; beag G. old forms, 1541, altas ; 1552, altes. 
This name is very probably from the now obsolete Gaelic words, 
alt, eminence, high ground ; pro., alt, not as allt, stream and ais, 
a hill, a stronghold, Manx alt, a high place ; W. allt, a precipice, 
a cliff, side of a hill ; Ir. alt, cliff, side of a hill ; Lat. alt-us, high ; 
Gr. alt-os. This place-name is possibly of Pictish origin ; near are 
tumuli and a Pictish tower. Both of these townships are on 
eminences rising abruptly from the River Oykell to a height of 300 
and 400 feet respectively. 

Arnat G. old form, 1578 amot, 1642 amott There are 
several places of the same name in Sutherland, all of them 
similarly situated by river sides, a meadow adjoining, semi-circular 
in shape, skirted by rising slopes of high ground, leading to the 
definition that by its shape and form the first part of this word, 
am, may mean, round, and aite, a place, the round-shaped place. 
Am is obsolete in G. It is still used in W., signifying round 
about. Am-ad, bordering all round, am-ran, a circular division. 
Lat. am, round, ambiens, going round. The obsolete G. or Pictish 
am, pro. as aam, signified circle, like the Lat. circum. pro. as aum, 
signified time. Am has also the signification of moist, watery. 
Am-aite might therefore be moist place. Am, amn, amteh-an, in 
ancient languages is found in river names. Am-an, Am-on, 
amhainn, amn-is, Lat. hence, am-aite, may bo the river place, the 
moist place. Where amat, am-aite is seen, there is a river in 
front, and a semi-circular meadow, bordered, or partially sur- 
rounded by hills. 

An-tualich G. tulach, green knoll, or summit of a gently 
rising ground. An tulaich, the knoll. 

Attandu G. from aite-ar., little place, du, black, the black 
little place. 

Bad-beithe G. literally, birch grove, the prefix bad enters 
largely into G. topography, meaning habitation at a grove. 
Throughout Ireland all the peasants' old habitations have their 

120 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

thicket of trees to windward, and their kailyards, common in the 
Highlands in former days. 

Bad-bog G. bog, soft, watery, the soft place. 

Bad-mor G. the big habitation near the grove, or the habita- 
tion near the big grove. 

Bad an tagart G. bad-an-t-sagairt, habitation of the priest. 

Bad-a-chuil G. chuil, gen. of cuil, back ground, habitation in 
the back ground, or at the back of a hill^ 

Bad-na-cuaich G. cuaich, gen. of cuach, cuckoo, cuckoo's 

Bad guineach G. guineach, prickly, habitation of the prickly 

Bard-na-beinu G. barda, a dyke, an enclosure dyked round, 
or walled, possibly derived from the enclosure allocated in olden 
times to the bard of the chief or village. 

Balblair G. bail a bhlair. Blar means a level moor, or plain ; 
the moor, or plain township. 

Balachraggan G. creag-an, small rock, the habitation or 
township at the small rock, or a rocky place. 

Balnacroit G. croit, croft, or small farm, township of the 
small farm. 

Bonar 0. G. old form, Bunnach, 1275, later on Bon-aw and 
Bun-aw, meaning river end, or mouth, as Bun-illigh, the ,mouth of 
the Illigh. Aw is an ancient, now obsolete Caledonian Pictish 
word for water, running water, as in modern G.: in the form of, 
Ath, a ford, otherwise, shallow running water. Here there is 
always running water, tide coming in, tide going out. Here, too, 
ends the broad water of the Dornoch Firth, and begins the narrow 
of "Caolas Oikell" or the Kyle specially mentioned in Sutherland 
Charters, phonetically spelled Kelys, Killis, and Kellis, and Kyle ; 
hence Bun-aw would mean the end or mouth of the river Oikell, 
as Bon-a, Bon-a\v, at the north end of Loch-Ness means the mouth 
of the water of the loch discharging its accumulated waters away 
by the river at the " Aw" end ; any way, there is a pointed 

Caisteil-na-coire G. the castle in the hollow ; it is near Inver- 
ca^k-y ; only the site remains. This castle is called " Castle- 
niL'arn" by Sir R. Gordon. 

Clais-bhuie G. clais, bhuidhe, the yellow hollow. 
< 'luis-ean-glas G. glass, pale, grey, green, the green hollows. 
Ir. glas. Manx, glass, pale grey, pale blue, green or verdant. W., blue, green. Arm. glas. Corn, glas, blue, green, marc glas. 
Arm. march glas. G. each glas. Ir. each glas, all these signifying 
grey horse. 

Sutherland Place Names. 121 

Clais-na-sinneig G. this place is at the foot of the " Sithean 
Mar," and quite near it is a knoll, small, very small in comparison 
with the "Sithean Mor," hence the name Sithean-ag to mark 
relative size and height ; ag is a Gaelic dim. corresponding with 
the Oriental dim. terminals, ac, ak, ik. Sinneig is the quick or 
rapid pro. of Sithean-ag, as " Shin" is of Sithean, or Sithainn. 
What is more common in Gaelicdom than to call a young girl 

Creich Parish and village name; old form, 1223-45, Crech, 
Creych; 1562-74, Creich; 163u, Creigh; probably an old Gaelic or 
Pictish word signifying rock. It appears in England in the form 
of Crich ; in Derby, Creech ; in Somerset, Critch ; in Dorset and 
Oick, in different parts of Wales, signifying rock, or high tumps ; 
creig, crug, the u pro. as ee, rock, high tump. Here is Dun- 
creich, din-creig, dincrug, the fort or fortress in the rock, a notable 
place in Caledonian-Pictish times ; the vitrification of the fort 
marks its. antiquity, much older than local tradition, which 
imputes its erection to Paul Mac-Tyre, a noted man in his day 
(1350-72). The first church was built near this rock, and dedi- 
cated to St Tearnach, the place taking its name from the 
fortified rock, and the church being the only one in the district 
for ages gave its name to the parish ecclesiastically formed in 1225. 
Another view may be taken of this parish name. It forms the 
south-west boundary of Sutherland, separating it from Ross, hence 
it becomes the boundary parish ; and if Creich be a corruption of 
Crioch, limit, boundary, such would be its signification. Another 
definition has been hazarded that Creich is a corruption of Craob- 
haich, woody, full of trees. It is true that it was, and is now, 
well wooded ; but all facts and aspects considered, the most 
.notable spot in the parish is that rocky headland looking down the 
Dornoch Firth upon which the fort was built, probably in an age 
when churches were unknown and unheard of in the Highlands of 
Scotland, and hence the parish name had its origin from that rock 
on its borders. 

Croich G. crois. This is a place on the right bank of the 
Cassley River ; on the left bank opposite is Bad-an t-sagairt ; on a 
tump in the meadow the priest erected a cross, whence probably 
the name. 

Dalnaclave G. cleibh, gen. of cliabh, a creel, the dal of the 
creels or fishing baskets, placed in a ford of the Cassley River, 
and trout or salmon driven into them. This place is far up the 
Cassley, the Dal shows there was at this place smooth water for 
salmon or trout. 

122 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dal-teamhair G. teamhair, pleasant, the pleasant dale. 

Doire-a-chatha G. doire-a-chadha, chadha, gen. of cadha, a 
narrow pass, grove of the narrow pass. 

Donne G. ; old forms: 1430, Daane ; 1578, Downe. This 
hamlet was so called from the stream running by it being the 
Du-an, black water; du, black, and an, obsolete Gaelic word for 
water, element; W. an, element, seen in many ancient names of 
rivers. May not "an" be a contraction of Amhainn, Aron, Gar- 
onne, Sa-one, Mar-one, now Morne, Anio, &c., &c. 

Drum-Hath G. grey ridge, liath, grey; W. lluyd ; Gr. lei-os. 
On this ridge, and on the north slope of it, was fought a very severe 
battle between the natives and the plundering Norsemen, who, it 
seems, landed near Ospisdale, and ravaged the country before them 
until they espied the inhabitants in battle array, ready on this 
advantageous position to fight for hearth and home. The Norse- 
men, brave fellows as they were, never loth to accept the gage of 
battle, advanced to the attack, arid the fight of heroes .began, face 
to face, foot to foot, with sword and spear. The natives seem to 
have manfully resisted the onset of the Norsemen, driving them 
off the ridge down the slope, where the fierce invaders rallied and 
continued the fight, with increased fury, if the numerous cairns 
with which the battlefield is strewn tell a true tale. At length. 
the " Reivers " were defeated, and retreated to their ships, pursued 
by the natives. It would appear that the Norse commander 
Ospis, or Hospis, made a stand at Ospisdal, to cover the embarka- 
tion, and fell at the head of his rearguard. Most of the fugitives 
got away, but the natives seized and burnt some of the ships 
before the defeated Norsemen got away. 

Dun-garvarie G. dun, a heap or fort, and garbh-airidh, rough 
shelling, fort of the rough shieling, or hill grazing. Garbh, rough 
unequal surface, enters largely into Highland and Irish topography. 
Ir. garbh, Manx garroo, W. garw, Corn, garou, Arm. garv, Lat. 
grav-is. Bochart, in his Phoenician Colonies, states that in the 
Punic language garw means very rapid. 

Drochaid-an-fheidh G. the deer bridge, more probably where 
a deer was caught and killed. 

Druim-an-tighe G. ridge of the house, applied in this word to 
a house ridge, like hill, or the ridge near the house. 

Du-chally G. du choille, the dark wood, or dubhadh-a-choille, 
shade, or darkness of the wood. 

(larbh-lcathad G. uneven or rough slope, hillside. 

Innis-na-damph G. innis, an island, here pasture field, and 
n stag, the pasture field of the stags; G. innis, island, 

Sutherland Place Names. 12a 

pasture, resting-place for cattle at night ; Ir. inis, inish, island ; 
W, ynys, island ; Corn, ennis ; Arm. enez. 

Innis-na-bioraiche G. bioraiche, gen. pi. of the word biorach, 
an instrument set with pointed iron pins fixed round the lower 
part of calves' heads to prevent them from sucking their dams 
when out pasturing ; hence the pasture field was named the field 
of the "bioraich." 

Inver-oykell G. innbhior, point of land at the confluence of 
two rivers. Invercassley, Invershin, the same. It is notable that 
the smaller stream or river joining a larger gives its own name to 
the Inver. G. innbhior ; Ir. inbir. Here, where the Oykell joins 
the Cassley and the Cassley the Oykell, there are two invers, one 
the Cassley, on the Sutherland side, the other, Oykell, on the Ross 
side, as if to prevent that mutual jealousy once too rife amongst 
clansmen and chiefs. 

Inveran G. inver, as above, and an, dim. the small inver ; 
to make a difference between it and Invershin. The Inveran is 
at the confluence of Allt-na-ciste-duibhe (stream of the black chest, 
or coffin) ; G. cisd, Manx kish-tey, W. cist, Corn, cist, Arm. 
ciste, Ir. ciste, Lat. cista, Span, cista, Gr. kis-te, Norse 
kista, Swed. kista, Dan. kiste, Dutch kist, Fr. cisse. 

Invershin G. confluence of the Shin, with Oykell river. Old 
form, innerchyn (1620). On the east side of the Shin, near the 
confluence, are the remains of a castle, once the property and 
abode of the Duffus family, descendants and younger branch of 
the Sutherland family. 

Leathad-breac G. leathad, slope, hillside, and breac, speckled, 
spotted ; the speckled hillside. Ir. breac, Manx breck, W. brych, 
Arm. brecs, bris, Chal. brakka, Arab, abrek. 

Linside-croy Old form, 1541, Linsett-croy ; 1552, Liynside- 
croy; 1557, Leinset ; 1589, Lynsettcroy, croy, cruaidh. 

Linside mor Old forms, 1541, Linsettmore ; 1552, Leyn-side 
mor; 1557, Leinset; 1589, Lynsett moir. There is evidence in 
this name of a mixture of G. and Norse ; the first part, lin, is the 
lins or lyns of the Charters, and means salmon pools ; the second, 
sett, side, ceat, of 1608, is evidently Norse, from setr, a seat, or 
residence, or sida, side, in coast, or water-side, local names in 
Norway ; the qualifying adjectives, croy, is cruaidh, hard, sterile, 
and mor, more big. " In 1584 George Ros, apparent of Balna- 
gown, sold to Hugh Munro of Asschyn the town and lands, <fec., 
with the salmon fishing of the * bin ' and the ' lyncs ' of Inner 
caslaw, in the barony of Strahokell." Taking all these into con 

124 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

sideration, the definition to be given to Linside must be the 
sloping coast of the salmon pools. 

Lub-croy G. lub, bend, and croy, cruaidh, hard, sterile. This 
hard bend refers to a bend in the river Oykell, where the land is 
anything but fertile. 

Langwell N. lang-vollr or long-field ; here it refers to a 
narrow strip of pasture by the side of the Oykell, low lying. 
There are several Langwells or Laflgwalls in Sutherland and 
t)ther Highland counties. 

Moine bhuidhe G. literally yellow peat, which gave the 
appellation to the place. 

Moine dhaor G. dhaor, oblique case of daor, dear in value, 
the dear moss or peats ; very significant. This, too, gave the 
appellation to the place where a poor cottar squatted with his 
family for a home. 

Maikle G. meigeal, the bleating of goats ; the goat-bleating 

Migdale Norse. Old form, 1275, Miggewethe; 1561, Mog- 
dail ; Mid-dale, Mid-dule. 

Ospisdale Norse, from Ospis or Hospis, ths Norse commander 
blain and buried here after his defeat at Drum-liath, above Bonar ; 
to commemorate his fall and defeat, a high stone was reared near 
the spot, to be still seen by the roadside below Ospisdale House. 
Such is the tradition. 

Oape G. ob, creek. Here is a bend of the river Oikell in the 
shape of a small creek, a sharp widening out of the river Oape, 
named from this creek. 

Ochtow, uch, and tu Pictish Gaelic, upper side. W. uch, 
upper. G. uachd, upper. W. tu, side. G. toabh, side ; pro., in 
Sutherland, as tu. 

Ouraig G. aw-beag, aw-bheag, small water or rivulet. The 
Ouraig runs down close to the place in the heights of Ospisdale. 

Reidh-mor G. ruigh-mor. Old form, Rhi-mor, big declivity. 

Reraig G. ruigh-bheag. Old form, Rhi-bheag, small 

Reidh-breac G. ruigh-breac. Old form, Rhi-breac, speckled 

Rossall G. old form, rossach (1582), ros, promontory al or ail, 
rock or steep bank, the rock promontory. 

Rose-hall Anglicised from the preceding. 

Rhivra G. rhi and bra, brow, rhibhra, the slope of the brow 
or hill brow. 

Sutherland Place Names. 125 

Sleasdairidh G. sleasd, marking, and airidh, hill pasture, 
where cattle, sheep, and ponies were wont to be marked on the 
horn, hoof, or ear. 

Strathan G. sra, srath, valley, and an, dim, srath an, small 
valley. Manx strah. W. y-strad, broad valley. Corn, strath, 

Salachy G. sallach, miry, dirty ; and Achadh, field, the 
nasty field. In the Ferin-coskary district of the " Old Charters " 
is a place, Swlach ; being unable to locate it here, it is not 
possible to say if it be the form of the present Salachy. 

Swordale N. old forms, 1275, Swordisdale ; 1554, Swerdell ; 
1561, Soirdaile; 1577-79, Suai-dell ; 1680, Sordail; from svordr, 
sward, and dalr, dale, the green-sward-dale. 

Spinningdale Eng. true description of the place when 
" Dunnichen," and " Skibo" Dempster, the Dempster of " Burns," 
reared here his flax spinning mills, and set them to work, giving 
employment to many ; but, alas ! the name was imposed by 
different kind of men, the Norsemen, or Loch-linnich, of Suther- 
land tradition and story ; from their own language, spenja, 
attractive, and their common affix, in local names, dalr, a dale, the 
attractive dale. 

Stocdach G. old form, 1341, stogok ; 1642, stogak ; means 
full of tree roots. 

Tigh-a-chumainn G. chumain ; gen. of cuman, a milk pail, 
the house of the milk pails. 

Tarnaig G. old forms, 1578, turnoch, turnak, turn-ag, turn, 
bend, here used for a bend or turn in the river Oykell, this river 
turn giving the name to the habitation near it. 

Tutim-tarvach G. tutim, tuiteam, fall, and tarbhach, 
plentiful, decisive ; said by Sir R. Gordon to be so named from a 
decisive battle here fought between the Macleods of Assynt and 
Lewis and the Mackays about the year 1400, the Macleods being 
all slain except the traditional one, who carried home the doleful 
intelligence of the direful event. Old forms, 1430, tutim-tarrak ; 
1578, tutem-tarroch ; 1614, tutum-treach. 

Tulaich--G. knolls, common in Gaelic and Irish topography. 

Tacher-in-road G. tachair-an-rathad, met by the way ; a 
waggish appellation surely. This habitation is half-way between 
one above it and another below. 

Uirghill G. uire, heather, and geal, white. 

126 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

6th MARCH, 1895. 

At this meeting Mr William Kemp, of Messrs Strother & Co., 
Inverness, was elected a member of the Society. On the motion 
of Mr Alexander Mackenzie, editor, Scottish Highlander, it was 
resolved to record sincere regret for the death of Professor John 
Stuart Blackie, one of the Honorary Chieftains of the Society, and 
it was remitted to a special committee Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A. ; 
Mr William Mackay, solicitor ; and Mr D. Mackintosh, secretary 
to draw up a minute of condolence, and convey the same to the 
late Professor's representatives. Thereafter Mr Alex. Macbain, 
M.A., read a paper, contributed by the Rev. John Kennedy, 
Caticol, Arran, on " Arran Gaelic Dialect." Mr Kennedy's paper 
was as follows : 


Arran is well and widely known as a rich and remunerative 
.field for studying botany and geology, but it has not yet been 
duly studied as a region where philology might glean much 
material. As there are specimens of the oldest and of the most 
recent formations of rock to be found in it, so also of roots and 
words. The genuine Gaelic here spoken is very old and valuable, 
but the recent mixed formations are to be sedulously avoided. I 
only offer a few specimens for consideration and criticism, under 
the headings " Words," " Proverbs," and " Superstitions," and 
trust the drvness of the subject may not prove too fatiguing for 
the patience of the kindly audience now to be addressed. 


Tha coslas tinn air an la The day is looking sickly. 
Uisge solus Clear water. 

Eudach solus White or light-coloured clothing. 
An clochair The death rattle. 
Fe for fein. 
Frasdan Showers. 
MaU or I A basket. 
Taineamh Thaw. 
An damh-suirne A corn-kiln. 
Fail-shlatan and Faileantan Honeysuckle. 
Madadh-uisge Otter ; also madadh donn, dorain donn ail 
t-shruth. Biasta dubh in the north. 

Lomag agus tior(a)man Whisky and oatmeal. 

Arran Gaelic Dialect. 127 

Bldie Satan ; also called Old Dan or Daniel. 
Mallaichte Cross, akin to curst. 
Dnine ceannar, cireil A wise, managing man. 
Tudraig Vigorous. 
Monusc A particle, 
lubhar-beinne Juniper berries. 

A' chaiseal-chr6 A hearse. Vide Dean of Lismore's Book. 
Macgillesheathanaich Shaw (in Mull). 
Maith (or moithe in sound) Good. 
Ceart Right ; has no s-sound. 
C6ir Holy ; not liberal or hospitable. 

Ordag, calagag, fionna fad, macanab agus cuisteag A rhyme 
for the thumb and four fingers. 

Gabh na guaid e Take or leave it. 
Guaideil Leaving alone, refusing. 

So an te a leag an sabhul, 

So an te a ghoid an sil (not siol), 

So an te a sheas ag amharc, 

So an te a ruith air falbh, 

So an te bheag a b' fheudar dhith a phaigheadh air fad. 

A rhyme for thumb and four fingers, somewhat resembling the 
rhyme of the " House that Jack Built." 

Suil-chrich A mossy swamp. 

Knockmaniseular Hills at Lenimore. 

Knockbuid Halfway between Caticol and Lochranza. 

Air a' mhoth 'n raidhir The night before last. 

Air a' mhoth 'n de The day before yesterday. 

Muigh-buan, claidheag The harvest home. 

Deasachadh Baking. 

Eadar long is lamairic Between the ship and the pier. 

Albhag or falbhag Ring or wheel. 

Galair-gl6ig or g!6igeach The mumps. In Kintyre it is " an 

Balagadan The calf of one's leg. 

Magan Hands. 

Siubhal air do mhagan Going on all fours. 

An t-oighre agus an tanaistear The heir and the next son, or 

Blasachd air A taste of it, like " boit air" in Badenoch. 

Meall do naigheachd Enjoy your news. "I wish you joy," 
said after the home-coming of a young couple. 

Feusgan Mussels. 

Barnuigh Limpets. 

128 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Coitich- -Argue. 

Gairtleam To weed ; no s-sound. 

Buan a' ghart Cutting com ; no s-sound. 

Cha chroic It is not difficult. 

Cara-meilidh Liquorice. 

Riasg Sedge. 

Sailean Willow. 

Eilean Ion Mud island. * 

Linne Mhuirich Murdoch's linn. 

Traighleachan A bird with a brown bill that makes its nest 
on the shore above high-water mark. 

Brid Whisper. Tha mi airson brld riut. 

Loisdean and loisgean A primrose. 

Luidhear A vent. 

Am breas The chimney piece. 

Gugan A daisy. 

Fanaiseach, farraideach Mocking. 

Eidheannach Ivy. 

Fearn-alder Scotch mahogany. 

Gunna-peilear, gunna-steallair (gunna-sput) A syringe. 

Smearain Brambles. 

Mucagan Wild-rose fruit. 

An eanntag Nettles. 

Airnean Slaes. 

Cnotul Brown dye. 

Liath-lus Mugwort, a substitute for tobacco. 

An dreolan The wren, 

lalltag The bat ; in Badenoch, an dialtag. 

Glaisean-seillich Water wag-tail; it builds its nest under 
stones, and it has a long tail. 

Druideag A starling. 

Broinn-deargan Robin Redbreast. 

B6, plur. ba, and short sound also, bai Cows. 

Bara-rotha Wheel-barrow. 

Bara-laimhe A hand-barrow. 

Bladach nan ronn Slavers. 

Maide-raingeis (like rongus) Ladder-step. 

' Guisean and guiseag rainigh, old gen. Bracken. 

Ugh maola feannaig The little egg sometimes laid by a hen, 
at one time supposed to be laid once in seven years by the cock 
(cockatrice story). The cockatrice is the bird that is hatched 
from the cock's egg seriously explained to be so once in Raasay. 

Spuinnear A tarry rope. . 

Arran Gaelic Dialect. 129 

Tot tilgte Movable seat in the centre of a boat. 

Tha mi cha mh6r ullamh I am nearly ready (all but). 

Cannadh Porpoise. 

Canna Isle of porpoises. 

Breagh, pronounced bragh Fine, beautiful. 

Lubag cas laoidh A half-hitch knot. 

Spearrach A string on a lamb's foot, a sort of tether at 
spinning time to prevent running. 

Cabhruich (cath) Flummery. 

Lagan Sowens ; also easraich. 

Stapag (fuarag) Milk and meal mixture. 

Casan (frith-rathad) Footpath ; also aithghearan in the 
North a short cut. 

Ulabur (earbull) Tail. 

Leamh- -Sneering. 

Druimtighmhicgillechatain Longest name in Mull. 

Samhailt aithne ormsa Unrecognised by me ; you have the 
advantage of me. 

Ru-ra Topsy-turvy. 

Graisg Offscouring. 

Golum Trifling, flattery. 

Strupag and toineag A little drop of spirits. 

An ainm an aigh In the name of good; good grea't, like good- 
ness gracious. 

Air muire On or by Mary ; same as by'r lady dame. 

Alt a' ghoirtein a' mhaol-mhuire -The burn of the field of the 
shorn priest of Mary. Above Caticol. 

Air m' fhalluinn By my garment. 

Air m' anam By my soul. 

Air m' onair By my honour. 

La dobhaidh A wild, stormy day. 

La frasachdach A showery day. 

La sgreunach A wet, gusty day. 

Ludan A pool. 

('C-jisan isayth. 

Suidhean and piocach Lythe. 

Cuiteag Whiting. 

Lcabag A flounder. "Bithidh leabagan aig BhuiJle fathast, 
said by way of reprisals. 

Saorgan (daorgan) A pewit. 

Falmairean Herring hakes. 

Crucian A gurnet. 

Seorsa bigeach A small thing. 


130 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Baile na h-Aiimit Goddess Aneitus. R.C. used it for con- 

Geannaire A hammer. Some say from ceann-ord. 

Casaire A hammer. Some say from cas-6rd. I think the 

former more likely to be connected with geinne, a wedge. 

Sior-uisyje Constant rain. 

Fior-uisge Flowing (living) water. 

Tha cho docha It is as likely. * 

Gu beachdaidh Certainly. A common expression. 

Is dalta sin Like that. 

Dalta Mhairi Like Mary. 

Tha 'daicheil gu'n d' teid Likely to go. Not peculiar, as in 
some parts of the Highlands. 

Frog (meuran) na cnaig Cuckoo flower. 

Rineach A mackerel. 

Ordag, corrag, ineur-meadhon, mathair an ludain, or luideig 
Another rhyme for fingers. 

Cathair thalmliainn Cure for jaundice. 

Dudan and Dus Dust and chaff. 

Tha thu cur meanaidh orm You provoke me. 

Mearadh sionachain Phosphorus. Also mcaradh-loisgeach. 

Tarbh-nathrach, or a' chuibhle mhor The moth that goes 
round the light. 

Carathaisd Statute labour. 

Dol 'narn mogain Putting on their foot gear. 

A' cur speuran mo chinn roimh a cheile Putting the skies of 
my head through other a brown study. 

Claba-dudaidh Like cockles, but with larger shells. 

An t-aile air a sguabadh le gaoith The air swept by the wind. 

A' mhuir na caora 1 geala The sea in white foam. 

Cha d' fhuair norra codail I got not a wink of sleep. 

A' postadh le 'casan Tramping blankets in lona. 

Gealbhan A fire. 

Sgeul thairis To change the subject. 

Danaire Dogged. 

Trosdan A crutch. 

Casachdaidh (casdaich) A cough. 

Aon bheag Very little. 

Aon mh6r Not a bit. 

Beart Plough. No s-sound, as in the north. 
| Cota beag Petticoat. 
L Cota ban A groat. 

1 Waves spindrift. Buchanan's " 'N a cao^aibh dearg." 

Arran Gaelic Dialect 131 

'Cladain Burrs, thistles. 
Fonntain Thistles. 

Dearcan-suiridhe A weed, good for gravel. 
'Gubernach-meurach Octopus or devil-fish. 
Fiabhruidh Ask. 

Garbhanach A silver haddock or sea-breem. 
Braise A sudden sickness. 
Fasdaid Fee'd, as at market. 
Dioll. Diligence. 
Cochull Envelope. 

Damhan allaidh, breabair and breabardan-smagach Spider. 
Tailearan and scleirtearain Slaters. 
Toirmeachan-de A butterfly. 

'Cailleach oidhche and dealain de Also a butterfly. 
Drurnlach-sithe (dom-ghlas) Gall. 
Ulag A mouthful of meal, in Badenoch. 
Tdrradh A funeral, in Tyree. 
Isearan Oyster. 
Muisgean Spoutfish. 
Muasgan A fish that opens like a boot. 
Toimhseachan A guess. 

Aireamh Reckon, think. Tha mi 'g aireamh. 
Am bathach Ruairidh Ghobha In Rory the Smith's byre. 
In the open air (North). 
Caranach Grumbling. 
Uircean-garaidh A hedgehog. 
Toraicinn A peat-knife. 
Ceanna-pholag Tadpoles. 
Blair-f eile Market stance. 
Mall sneimh (Mall Sne) Delay. Mall sniamh. 
Bad Many. 

Coiteachadh Coaxing. Fuiteachadh in Badenoch. 
Cudthrom-siudain A pendulum. 
Lamairean A trifler. 
Dubaidh A pool, Irishman's Burn. 
Strubladh Wetting, hard bested. 

A' ghliogaig nan dramag or dlamag A clumsy bad woman 
Clacha meilear Goatfell pebbles. 
Cur r'a theinidh (faloisg) Heather-burning. 
Le cas is fras Corn-growth : with foot and root. 
Sgroinneach Ragged. 
Carracaig A pancake. 
<ha 'n 'eil aon dath Not a whit. 

132 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ann na h-asgailt In her bosom. 

Bochain (bothain) A bothy, tent. 

Maide-coire (groidlean) Spirtle. 

Riabhach Yellow-gray. 

Gun i, gun o, gun aobhar When a thing is done without 
rhyme or reason. 

Greim neirt Strengthening muscle. 

Oidhrig, Eiphrig, Oirig Euphemia, Ferny. 

Teasach Early stage ; fiabhrus later stage of fever. 

Coille-beanain Phosphorus . 

Caoineach (cbineach)- Moss. 

L' fhios am bheil 1 Is it so 1 

Guaileach Shoulders ; also guallaich. 

Am Fear-dona Satan. 

Am Fear-math God. 

Tlaiteachd Mild rain, smurring. 

Dedta (deota) Dry. 

Sialach Harum-scarum. 

Farachaidh chnocaidh A mell, or a stone for grinding barloy.. 

Bleagain Peeled grain. 

Cnocad Barley hammered. 

Tiridh Drying corn. 

Oraisg To vomit ; also oirlis (Kintyre). 

Ath-eo Hemlock. 

Air deo (air neo) If not, except P. Grant's Hymns. 

Spar a' choillidh (spur) Cock's spur. 

Lasgaird A young man. 

Siobadh Drift in g. 

Garbhainn 111, sick, complaining. 

Ealaig A peg or block, the same as ealachaig or cipean. 

Sgriosan Trousseau. 

A' dhiolan sinne ! A thiochaidh fhein ! Bodenoch exclama- 

Breaca-seanadh Fern tickles ; breac-eunan in Badenoch. 

Buinte Relationship. 

Luircach Pretty. 

Lughach Kind. 

Coiuneal, candle, is masculine. 

Ililieug One hair. 

Thu mise a' coimheis I don't care. 

CarScrewing up the face ; like drein. 

Leine chaol A white shirt. Small stitches, as in "Burns.'" 

Cnudh (cnodh) A nut. 

Arran Gaelic Dialect 133 

dnudh ch6mhlaich A full nut. 

Cnudh chaoch An empty nut. 

Leathanach Hoar-frost. 

'Cearr 's a' cheann Wrong in the head (mind). 

Is mi-thapaidh (pronounced miapaidh) 'Tis pity (utinam). 

Duine thapaidh A grumbler. 

Uisgeanan rothadh Icicles. 

Orios Grease. 

Sneabhartaich (sreodaich and streodaich in B.) Sneezing. 

A' casachdaidh (casdaich) Coughing. 

Failcin Pot-lid. 

Mult-cr6 liarvest home after potatoes have been secured. 

Seal-mara Cut-wreck, seaweed. 

Brochan-cail Kail broth. 

Dotshag A fat female. 

Caoineachadh an fheoir Haymaking, in Badenoch. 

Sgannan Membrane. 

Teas na luaithreach 'nan ladhairean Heat of ashes in their 

Crodhan Hoof. 

Ludhar Toes. 

Caigilt Rake the fire. 

A chorra-chagailt The fire-fairy. 

Smaladh an teine Keep fire in (in Badenoch). 

Fuar-achadh Untilled land. 

Tosg A peat instrument. 

Coib-a-lair An instrument for cutting turf (divots). 

Croineagan Small peats (in B.), caorain (in Skye), and 
caoireag (in Diet.). 

A' dhuilean, an duileag, na duil Creature ; all endearing 

Dalag-fe6ir A mole. 

Fiolagan A field mouse. 

Asach (asbhuain) Where corn has been newly cut. 

Muill (munchioll) A sleeve. 

'Cuileag-lin Earwig ; same as gobhlachan. 

Bralag A caterpillar. 

Spleuchdan A tobacco pouch. 

Gluis Slush ; also liquid food. 

Ones A stenlock. 

Cluadain Care. 

Spearrach A sheep hobble. 

Duinean talamhaidh, b' fheairrd thu 'dhol air farragan A 
3ittle cleft in a rock. 

134 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

An grioglachan, an seachdairean The Pleiades; am briogailean- 
searmaid (in Badenoch). 

Gur dubh ino chas 

'S gur geal mo leas, 

'S gur mise an eala ghle-gheal, 

Gun snamhain loch cho luath ri lach 

'S gu 'n rachainn dachaj^h dh' Eirinn. 

Badenoch rhyme. 

Feill .Bride February. 
Foill Bealltainn May. 
Lunasdaia August. 
Samhuinn November. 

A Game. 

Fidiri, foideri, a' chrothain, a' chapuill, a sheana bho liagath,, 
feugath, faoileach, air an t-slip, air an t-slap, suisneach saoisneach,,, 
buile beag air ceann na slaite, crub a steach an ialltag Then the 
last one spoken to has to fall down on knee and things are then 
placed on his back, and then the game proceeds. Trom, trom air 
do dhruim, tomhais de oit Heavy, heavy on thy back; guess, 
what it is (is on you). 

Deoch an Doruis. 

Deoch an doruis, 

Deoch an t-sonais ; 

Sith is sonas 

Gu 'n robh againn. 

Ni dona 

Cha bu dual duinn ; 

Air ghaol Dhia 

Is ghradh chairdean, 

Thoiribh deoch an doruis duinn. 

La seachanta na seachduin, Di-h-aoine Friday, in Badenoch. 
Ceo an teas de 'n a' chuan Heat mist from the sea. 
'S ce6 'n fhuachd dhe 'na bheinn Cold mist from the hill. 
Caith-sgioladh, caisgdhleidh, caich-mhine Chaff. 
Speuclair Spectacles. 
Aingidh Cross. 

Li cheal na chuag 1st of April; the day of hiding the 

Mac-a-Reudaidh Sim. 

Arran Gaelic Dialect 135 

Aon ghlun First cousin ; da ghlun second cousin. 

Spuidsear A bucket with a wooden handle to lift water from 
the sea. 

Cha leann ghillean a th' aim It is not beer for lads ; no small 

Na abair do cheann-fhacal Say not thy last word yet. 


Is boidheach an aon-fhalbh Beautiful is the going together, 
the one going. 

Is eutrom duine fo ghalair duine eile A man feels lightly 
under another man's burden. 

Is trorn tubaisdean air na libisdean Misfortunes fall heavily 
on the awkward folk. 

Gach h'odh nabharr ach am fearn 'nabhun All kinds of wood 
from the top, but the elder from the root (will split). 

Is e 'n gniomh an gnothuch Deeds, not words. The act is 
what proves. 

Comain a laimhe fein A man indebted to his own hand, 

An uair a bhitheas an sgadan mu thuath, bithidh Dol Ruadh 
mu dheas When the herring is in the north, Red Donald will 
be in the south. 

Am muilean a bhios gun chlaban, is iomadh clach a theid a 
shamhlachadh ris The mill that has no clapper, many a stone 
will be mentioned for (compared to) it. 

Cha d' fhag a bheannachd nach do thill a ris No one left his 
blessing without returning again. 

Cha 'n 'eil fios air sta an tobair gus an traigh e The worth of 
the well is not known until it is empty. 

Cha sasuich saibhreas sannt Wealth will not stench greed. 

Ruithidh na sruthain bheaga thun na sruthain mhora (All) 
the small streamlets flow in to the large streams. 

Is ionnan fuigheall madadh is fuigheall meiriich cha dean e 
math dhuit The leavings of a dog are like the leavings of a thief, 
they do you no good. 

Rugadh am fear sin mu'n d' fhalbh a mhathair That man was 
born before his mother departed. 

Cha 'n fhiach an dragh an t-saothair The worry is not worth 
the work. 

Di-h-aoine an aghaidh na seachduin Friday against the week. 

Is fial an coileach mu shiol an eich The cock is liberal with 
the horse's corn. 

136 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Is lorn an leachd air nach deanadh tu maorach The stone is 
bare on which you could gather no mussels. 

Is minig a thainig moran danadas gu droch oilein Many a 
time much boldness came to (ended in) bad behaviour. 

Tha im dha 'na cholainn mar a tha oladh dha na guuachaii 
Butter is to the body as oil to the guns. 

Fodh rnhallachd nam baiij fodh thabhan nan con, 's fodh 
shnidhe an ard-doruis (N. Macleod) T^ider women's ban, under 
dogs' barking, and under dropping from the lintel (alike evil). 

Is e 'n t-shuiridhe chnampach a's fhearr The thumping 
courting is the best. 

Is cara chairdean iad da cheile They are near friends to one 

Is e cunntas cheart a dh' fhagas cairdean buidheach It is 
right reckoning that satisfies friends. 

Is coma le baigeir, baigeir eile One beggar does not like 

Tachairidh ri uair nach tachair ri aimsir They (may) meet 
in an hour \vho will not meet in an age. 

Tha e cho Ian do'n di'al, is a tha ugh do 'n bhiadh He is as 
full of mischief (the devil) as an egg is of meat. 

Uile duine a toirt scarbh a' creag dha fein Every man taking 
a scarf (scart and cormorant) out of a rock for himself. 

Fear a' ruith nighinn, ma thubhairt an Ni math gu 'm bi thu 
agam, bithidh tu agam -A man courting a maid ; if God has said 
that I shall have you, you shall be mine. 

Miann a' choit (a' chait) as traigh is cha teid e fein 'ga iarraidh 
The desire of the cat (fish) in the sea (ebb), but he will not go 
for it himself. 

Na na sheas e 'na d' amhaich bhiodh cuimhne na bh' fhearr 
agad air If it had stuck in your throat you would remember it 
better said of ingratitude. 

Gnothuichean iasachd falbhaidh na 's eallamh Things 
borrowed go (come to grief) the quickest. 

Is maith a dh' fhasas an droch lus Well grows the bad 

Cha dubhairt math no sath I said neither good nor bad. 

Ma dh' fhalbhas a' chaora 'feitheamh air an fheur iiir -What 
if the sheep die waiting for the new grass ? 

Is olc a' ghaoth nach seid an seol fear-eigin It is an ill-wind 
that does not blow in some one's sail. 

Cha 'n 'eil bas duine gun ghras duine There is no death of 
man without benefit to man. 

Arran Gaelic Dialect. 137 

Is math bonnach agus toll 's am bruithear e 'Tis good to 
have a bannock and a place for baking it. 

Mar cluinn thu sin cha chluinn thu 'chuag If you don't hear 
that you won't hear the cuckoo. 

Is olc an t-each nach giulain an asair Poor is the horse that 
-can't carry his harness. 

Cha 'n : eil a' choir ach mar chuniar i Right is just as it is 

Am fear a rug airsou a bhonn-se, cha bheir e air an sgiliun 
The man that was destined (born for) the half-penny cannot obtain 
(overtake) the penny. 

Is coimheach a' bhiatachd Poor hospitality ; offering one 
nothing while at meals. 

Cha 'n urrainn dhuit a' mhin itheadh agus an teine a sheideadh 
You cannot eat meal and blow the fire. 

Is maith an sas man (mar) am bi an siol air a roiseadh The 
wind of adversity (fix) is good if the corn-seeds are not shaken off. 

Foighneachd air fios, foighneachd a 's miosa a th' ann Asking 
what one knows is the worst kind of asking. 

Tha meur a' ghobha eadar thu fein is mise The smith's 
finger (a key) is between you and me. 

Cha do ghabh mi (d' ithich) mi uidhear ri sgiath faochaig 
(tiny scale on the top of a periwinkle's head) I did not take (eat) 
as much as the scale on a periwinkle's head. 

Theid an duthchas an aghaidh nan creag Heredity (blood) 
will go against rocks ; blood is thicker than water. 

Cha'n ann na h-uile la a mharbhas Martan mult It is not 
every day that Martan kills a wedder. 

Ann snuim (snaim) a 's dluithe (dluiche) do 'n amhach fhuas- 
gladh To untie the knot that is nearest the neck. 

Is bochd an fheill a dh'fhagas duine fhein falamh The market 
is poor that leaves oneself with nothing. 

Comunn gun fhuath gun ghradh, comunn a 's fhaide a 
mhaireas Friendship (company) without hate or love is the 
friendship that lasts longest. 

Bithidh duil ri fear-feachd, ach cha bhi ri fear-leac There is 
hope (of the return) of a soldier, but none of the one under a stone 

Tha rud eadar ciall is caoch There is a difference between 
wisdom and madness the golden mean. 

Their iad nach 'eil dithis ais aon smuain It is said that two 
hit not the same thought ; there are no two people altogether at 

138 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cha chuir buidheachas leth-bhoinn air mo bhr6gan Thanks, 
won't put soles on my shoes. 

Is math gach galair o'n tig- Every illness is good from which 
one recovers. 

Ma tha meirg 's an iul tha triiiir 's an aineoil If there is a 
fault (rust) in the known, there are three in the unknown. 

Na creic a' chearc ris an la fhliuch Do not sell the hen on a 
wet day. 

Cha thuig e Gaidhlig gus am fas i tiugh He cannot under- 
stand Gaelic until it grows thick. 

'Xuair a theirgeas gach meas, is math am meas na mucagan 
When every fruit is at an end, good are the berries of the dog-rose. 

An treasa uair is dual dha cinneach The third attempt (time) 
is likely to succeed. 

Am fear air am bheil an uireasbhuidh, bitheadh an t-saothair 
air The man who is in need, let him undergo the labour. 

Cha 'n 'eil duthchas aig mnaoi na aig ministear There is no- 
nationality for wife or for minister ; neither must regard any 
birth tie. 

Is buidhe le bochd beagan A needy man is thankful for little. 

Fear gun bhiadh gun tuarasdal, cha bhi e uair gun mhaigh- 
stear A man with neither food nor fee shall not for an hour 
want a master. 

Hath gu leanabh From hoar head to babe ; both old and 

Tha cuid is culbheas air na h-uile rud There is a share and 
a measure to everything. Enough is as good as a feast. 

Is lughaid orm bun do chluais I little like the root of your 

Is buan claim nam mallachd Long-lived are the children of 

Is e 'n duine an t-eudach, ach is e 'n laochan am biadh The 
clothes are the man, but food is the hero. 

Cha d' thainig ubh (ugh) mhor riamh a t6in dreblain A big 
egg was never laid by a wren. 

'S ann deireadh an la a ni an fheannag a muin It is at the- 
close of the day that the hooded crow micturates. 

C6 cinnteach a's a tha na fabhaireantan ort As sure as you 
have eyebrows. 

Cha robh aon uilear againn There was not a bit too much. 
It taxed all our strength. 

Is easgaidh droch impire (emperor) an tigh a' choimhersnaich, 
A bad emperor readily frequents his neighbour's house. 

Arran Gaelic Dialect. 139. 

Ma bheir thusa dhomh-sa a' mhiodalach mhor thun steog- 
aireachd 1 an diugh, bheir mise dhuit-sa an stalcaire a tharruing 
fraoch am maireach. Said by a Buteman. The Kintyre varia- 
tion is : Ma bheir thusa dhomh-sa do mhiodalach mhor gu barra- 
puil (wheeling peats), bheir mise dhuit-sa mu steocaire gu 
stughaireachd (for flailing). 

Cha bu tu mi, 's eha bu mhi an cu (B.) You are not I, and I 
am not a cur. 

Is e an oighreachd an t-slainte Health is the heritage. 

Miann an duine lochdaich, each uile a bhi amhluidh The 
desire of the wicked man is that everyone else should be like him. 

Is e 'n nochd oidhche Shamhna, is theirear gamhna ris na 
laoidh To-night is Halloween, and calves are called stirks. 

Am fear a cheanglas, 's e 'shuibhleas The man that ties best 
travels best. Fast bind, fast find. 

Gobhlach air an Nollaig Astride the New Year ; or work 
continued from one year to another is unlucky. 

Cha 'n 'eil peacadh 'na d' thomhas There is no lack (sin) in 
thy measure. 

Toiseach eididh dealgan The beginning* of weaving is to. 

Tha leigheas air gach cas, ach cha 'n 'eil leigheas air a' bhas 
There is a cure for every ill, but there is no cure for death. 


A quaint account of the origin of the Island of Arran : Bha'n 
Donas dol a null do dh' Eirinn, agus poc Ian uir air a dhruim. 
Thuit gu 'n d'thainig toll air a' phoc, agus thuit ur as, agus b' e 
sin Arain. The story relative to Ailsa Craig, or Paddy's Milestone 
is similar. 

In Lochfyneside it is regarded as unlucky to dry a sheet to 
the fire, or to turn the stroup of a teapot towards one. 

The friends of the last body buried hold guard till the next 
corpse comes. 

The boots of a murdered man should be buried between shore 
and sea, within tide mark. (Witness the Rose-Lavvrie trial). 

The first glimpse got of the new moon should be followed by a 
look over one's shoulder. 

Cracking the joints of one's fingers indicates the number of 
sweethearts or children one will have. 

It is lucky to bring fish alive to the house. 

1 steog, to churn. 

UO Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

It is better that a child should cry when being baptisd.e 
After the ceremony the child's temper improves. 

It is not lucky to take coppers. 

To break a bannock on the bride's head on her return home 
after the honeymoon, and to make her sweep the fireside and poke 
the fire, is accounted lucky. 

If work is left over from Saturday, it will take seven weeks 
before it is finished. * 

It is unlucky to cut one's hair if there is not new moon ; but 
if cut when there is new moon, it grows with the growth of the 

The first shaving (speil) from the keel of a newly commenced 
boat, if it falls on its face to the ground, is a bad omen for the 
future of that boat. 

Bodach a' Chipein. 

It is believed by many that before the death of any member 
of a certain sept of Kerr, Bodach a' Cheipein, or the old man of 
the stump or peg, may be heard moving about and giving timely 
warning as to coming fatalities. 

Am Piobair tilthe. 

Similarly, prior to the death of another sept of Kerr, Am 
Piobair S'tthe, or the Fairy Piper, may be heard attempting to 
play a tune by way of intimating that the hour of departure is at 

The story of the Fairy Piper has some interest. Some 
centuries since a battle was fought at Lochranza, and a certain 
piper promised his wife, if he should return alive from the fight, 
that he should be playing a particular air. He was mortally 
wounded in the fray, but was able to creep slowly homeward. As 
he was moving painfully along he was endeavouring to tune his 
pipe to play the promised air, but his life-blood was fast ebbing 
away, and he could not get begun with the actual tune. He 
fainted, and failed to reach his home. Hence whenever he is still 
heard it is in the same agonising effort to make good his promise 
to his spouse. Not many years ago one coming home by boat 
heard mournful preparation for play on the part, as was at first 
supposed, of a travelling gipsy piper; but when a certain cove 
where such usually lodge was passed it was then felt and feared 
that the land companion could be none other than the Fairy 
Piper, who kept pace, but could not come at the commencement 

Briathran Nan Daoine 'dh' Fhalbh. Ul 

of the attempted air, until the house was reached where this 
account was penned. An old woman of the name referred to 
passed away shortly afterwards from the near neighbourhood. 

Whatever may be thought and said of all such stories, it is 
extremely difficult to give any satisfactory explanation of a world- 
wide belief, save to acknowledge that it must have some founda- 
tion in fact. 

" There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." 

13th MARCH, 1895. 

At this meeting Mr David Young, secretary, Caledonian 
Banking Company, Inverness, and Mr James M. Fraser, agent,, 
Caledonian Bank, Lochmaddy, were elected members of the 
Society. On the motion of Mr Alex. Mackenzie, publisher, it was, 
resolved to record sincere regret at the death of Professor John. 
Stuart Blackie, one of the Honorary Chieftains of the Society ;, 
and it was remitted to a special committee, viz. : Mr Alex. 
Macbain, M.A. ; Mr William Mackay, honorary secretary ; and 
Mr Duncan Mackintosh, secretary, to draw up a minute of con- 
dolence, and convey same to the Professor's representatives. 
Thereafter the Secretary read a paper by the Rev. John. 
MacRury, Snizort, entitled "Briathran nan daoine 'dh' fhalbh.. " 
Mr MacRury's paper was as follows : 


Mar is m6 a ghabhas sinn de bheachd air na bheil air chuimhne 
againn tie bhriathran nan daoine a dh' fhalbh, agus mar an ceudna, 
air na chaidh a sgriobhadh mu thimchioll na d6igh anus an robh 
iad a' tighinn beo, agus nam beachdan a bh' aca air na bha iad a' 
faicinn 's a' cluhmtinn mu 'n cuairt daibh amis an t-saoghal, is. 
aim is mo a clmireas e dh' ioghnadh oirnn cho glic 's a bha iad.. 

142 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Tha e 'na ni iongantach da rireadh, gu 'm biodh cuid de na 
beachdan a bh' aig na Gaidheil o chionn cheudan bliadhna, ami an 
*co-ch6rdadh ris na beachdan a th' aig ard luchd-foghlum an 
t^saoghail air an latha 'n diugh. Iongantach 's mar a tha so, tha 
e f lor gu leor. Bu choir dha so a thoirt oirnn uile, gu 'm biodh 
m6ran a bharrachd meas againn air canain aosda nan Gaidheal na 
th' againn oirre. Ged a tha m6ran de na Gaidheil ag amharc sios 
air a' Ghailig, agus air na daoine a bh'nu o shean, gidheadh tha 
moran de na daoine cho measail 's cho f6ghluimte 's a gheibhear 
amis na tri rioghachdan, agus mar an ceudna, air feadh Tir-m6r na 
Roinn-Eorpa, a' faicinn a nis, gu bheil Litreachas nan Gaidheal 
airidh air iiite urramach 'fhaotainn ami am nieasg Litreachais gach 
cinnich air am bheil iomradh againn. Bu mho a bha de mheas 
aig na Frangaich 's aig na Gearmailtich air bardachd Oisein na 
bh' aig na Gaidheil f hein oirre, ged nach robh aca ach an t-eadar- 
theangachadh a rinneadh air a' Ghailig. Mar a dh' fhaodas neach 
am bith a thuigsinn, cha 'n urrainear na smaointeanan a th' aim 
am bardachd Ghailig a chur gu Ian mhath ann an eadar- 
theangachadh sam bith a nithear oirre. B' iad na Sasunnaich 
nach tuigeadh a' Ghailig a th6isich an toiseach ri radh nach robh 
i aon chuid 'na canain mheasail no 'na canain fheumail, agus idir 
nach robh gliocas no geur-chuis anus na Gaidheil o thoiseach a' 
<cheud latha. Ach ged a bha na Sasunnaich 'ga ruith sios mar a 
b' fhearr a b' urrainn daibh, cha mhor a bheireadh geill daibh, mur 
b' e gu 'n d' aontaich aireamh mhor de na Gaidheil ihein leotha. 
Mar a tha 'n sean-fhacal ag radh, "B' e sin aontachadh brionuaig 
le breuuaig." Tha cuid de dhaoine ami nach cuir de dhragh orra 
fhein na sheasas air taobh na corach. Ged a thoisicheadh na 
Gaill agus na Sasunnaich ri 'n ruith sios than am brog, theireadh 
iomadh fear dhiubh, " Tha mi ag aontachadh leibh." Is goirid 
o 'n a thuirt Sasunnach mini, nach robh cainnt anns an t-saoghal 
leis am b' urrainn duine miomian a dheanarnh cho sgrathail 's a 
dheanteadh anns a' Ghailig. Thuirt mi ris, suil mu 'n t-sroin, gur 
ami o 'n Bheurla a fhuair na Gaidheil e61as air na mionnan 
sgrathail air an robh e ag iomradh. Is gann a bha e 'g am 
chreidsinn gus an do shoilleirich mi dha mu 'n chuis. Ach tha 
cuisean a nis air atharrachadh gu mor. Tha cuid de na Gaill agus de 
na Sasunnaich m6ran ni 's measaile air a' Ghailig no na Gaidheil 
fhein. Tha iad a' tuigsinn gu bheil i 'na canain a tha gle shean 
^agus gu bheil fiosrachadh m6r ri fhaotainn anns na sean-fhacail, 
agus anns na seann naigheachdan Gaidhealach. Tha e anns an 
amharc agam, ma ta, beagan a sgriobhadh mu thimchioll nam 
briathran glice a labhair na seana Ghaidheil. Tha a' chuid a's mo 

Briathran Nan Daoine W Fhalbh. 143 

-de na bheil air faotainn de na briathran glice a labhair iad, air am 
fagail againn aims na sean-fhacail. Tha na sean-fhacail so luina- 
lan fiosrachaidh. Nan rachadh againn air an tuigsinn, bheireadh 
iad dhuinn beachd soilleir air an tiom a bh' ann o sheann. Bheir 
eolas air an tiom a bh' ann o shean, an nair a bheachdaicheas sinn 
air ami an solus an ama' tha lathair, oirim a thuigsinn, co dhiubh 
tha gus nach 'eil sinn, anns gach doigh, cho dichiollach agus cho 
deanachadh, cho glic agus cho tuigseach, ris an t-sluagh a bha 'nar 
duthaich 'san am a dh' fhalbh. Tha aon ni gle shoillcir dhuimi 
ma bheir sinn fa near e, agus is e sin, nach 'eil sinn a leith cho 
math gu beachd a ghabhail air obair a chruthachaidh 's a bha 
na seana Ghaidheil. Tha na daoine a's mo fbghlum a tha'n diugh 
anns an t-saoghal ag radh, gur ami le bhith gu trie agus gu 
curamach a' toirt fa near gach ni a bha iad a' faicinn mu'n cuairt 
orra air muir 's air tir, a f huair iad a chuid a's 1116 de'n eolas agus 
de'n fhdghlum a th' aca. Gun teagamh sam bith bha na daoine 
so a' leughadh moran leabhraichean, agus air an doigh so bha iad 
a' faotainn moran fiosrachaidh. Ach cha b' urrainn daibh a bhith 
'nan daoine foghluimte, mur b'e gu robh iad aig gach am a' 
.gabhail beachd air gach ni a bha iad a' faicinn 's a' cluinntinn. 
Ged nach robh na Gaidheil a dh' fhag againn an aireamh a's mo 
de na sean-fhacail, agus de na bheil air faotainn de nasgeulachdan, 
a' leughadh a' bheag de leabhraichean, bha iad o'n oige ag 
eisdeachd ursgeulan agus eachdraidh amis an robh moran fios- 
rachaidh nach 'eil gu cumanta ri 'fhaotainn anns na leabhraichean 
a tha nis cho pailt am measg dhacine. Bha iad mar so a' faotainn 
eolais o na bha iad a' cluinntinn o bheul nan daoiue a bh' ann 
Tompa moran ni b' fhearr na ged a bhiodh iad a' leughadh leabh- 
raichean. Dh' fheumadh iad gach facal a chluinneadh iad a 
chumail air chuimhne, agus mar so bha na h-inntinneaii aca araon 
air an neartachadh agus air an geurachadh. Ach air an latha 'n 
diugh is ann a tha leabhraichean is paipearan an deis cuimhne 
an t-sluaigh a mheatachadh. Cha 'n 'eil " cuimhne uirce' ; aig an 
aireamh a's m6 de shluagh na duthchadh an diugh. Ged a thach- 
radh ceud fear num ann an latha, is gann gu'm bi fear dhiubh 
nach fheum lamh a thoirt air leabhar mu'n urrainn e innseadh 
ciod a bha e deanamh da latha roimhe sin. Cha b' ann mar so a 
bha na seana Ghaidheil idir. Bhiodh deagh chuimhne aca air a' 
chuid mhoir de na nithean a chunnaie agus a chuala iad o laithean 
an 6ige. Cha ruig mi leas a bhith labhairt uime so ni's fhaide 
aig an am so. 

Is gann a tha fhios again c' aite an coir dhomh toiseachadh ri 
cunntas a thoirt seachad mu na bheil air chuimhne again de 

144 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

bhriathran nan daoine a dh' fhalbh ; ach feumaidh mi toiseachadh 
an aitc-eiginn. Cha bhiodh e as an rathad dhomh toiseachadh aig 
na briathran a tha nochdadh dhuinn cho dichiollach 's a bha iad 
gu obair de gach se6rsa a dheanarah 'na h-am. Mar a theireadh 
iad fhein, " Ge b' e a ni an obair 'na h-am, bidh e rithist 'ca leith- 
thamh." Is e their m6ran dhaoine an drasta, " Uine gu Ie6r, ni 
sinn am maireach e." Agas an uair a bhios an obair deas, co- 
dhiubh a bhios i air a deanainh ceart no cearr their iad, " Ni e an, 

Fad an dara leith de 'n bhliadhna cha bheireadh an latha air 
duine dichiollach sam bith 's an leabaidh, agus cha mho iia sin a 
bhiodh e fada gun dol a chadal 's an oidhche. B' e coinharradb 
na leisge a bhith fada gu 'n dol a chadal agus fada gun eirigh. 
" Is leasg le leis^ean a dhol a chadal, is ro leasg leis eirigh 's a > 
mhaduinn." "Am fear a bhios fada gun eirigh, bidh e 'na leum 
fad an latha." Is e am fear a dh' eireadh trath 's a' mhaduinn a 
dheanadh an obair 'na h-am, agus a dheanadh gu math 's gu ro- 
mhath i. Am fear a bhiodh fada gun eirigh 's a bhiodh 'na leumi 
fad an latha, cha chuireadh e car a dh' obair shnasail as a laimh o 
'n a dh' eireadh e gus an laigbeadh e, agus idir cha bhiodh tiotadh, 
de dh' fhois aige. Tha agus bha ceann sgaoilte air gach obair a 
nithear ami an cabhaig. An obair air am bi ceann sgaoilte cha 
bhi i buileach, agus an obair nach bi buileach, cha bhi i buanach- 

An am an earraich agus an am an fhoghair, an da am anns am 
m6 a bhios aig daoine ri dheanamh fad na bliadhna, bha e' na 
ohleachdadh aig na daoine 'dh' fhalbh a bhith gle thrang aig obair. 
Dh' oibricheadh iad air a' chuid bu lugha, d& uair dheug a h-uile 
latha. Theireadh iad, " La Fheill Padraig, la mo chridhe 's mo 
chleibh, la a dh' fhoghnadh do dhuine 's a dh' fhoghnadh dnine 
dha." Tha da uair dheug eadar eirigh agus dol fodha na greine, 
La Fheill Padraig. Anns an am ud cha chluinnteadh iomradh air 
latha nan ochd uairean no idir air latha nan deich uairean. Cha 
ruig sinn a leas ioghnadh a bhith oirnn ged a bha daoine aig nach 
robh ach fior bheagan fearainn agus stuic 'gan cumail fhein agus 
an teaghlaichean suas anns an am. Is m6r am feum a ni dichioll. 

Ach their cuid de dhaoine ruinn an diugh, gu bheil e tuilleadh 
is fada do dhuine sam bith a bhith aig obair chruaidh, earraich fad 
deich uairean an uaireadair. Ach nan rachadh daoine a chadal 
aig am mar a dheanadh na seann daoine air am bheil sinn ag 
iomradh, cha bu taing leotha 'bhith aig obair chruaidh fad an 
latha. So mar a theireadh 's a dheanadh iad, " Suipear soills' an 
latha oidhch' Fheill Bride, 's a dhol a chadal soills' an latha oidhch" 

Briathran Nan Daolne W Fhalbh. 145 

Fheill Padraig." Cha robh guth no iomradh an uair ud aig na 
daoine a bha glic, dichiollach, deanadach, air a bhith air ch&lidh 
gus am biodh e dluth air a' mheadhon oidhche. Mar a tha 'n 
seanfhacal ag radh, " Tha uair aig an achasan is am aig a' 
cheilidh." B' e am a' gheamhraidh am a' cheilidh, ach b' e am an 
earraich am na h-obrach. Tha dluth air da uair de sholus lacha 
ann an deigh do 'n ghrein a dhol fodha mu Fheill Padraig, agus 
faodaidh sinn a radh gu robh e mar chleachdadh aig daoine 's an 
am ud a bhith' dol a chadal eadar a h-ochd 's a naoi a dh' uairean 
's an oidhche. An deigh ochd uairean cadail fhaotainn, bhiodh 
iad deas gu eirigh aig c6ig uairean 's a' mhaduinn. Bhiodh iad 
mar an ceudna gle shunndach, urail gus a dol a dh' obair ; oir tha 
e air a dhearbhadh gu bheil an cadal a gheibh daoine roimh 'n 
mheadhon oidhche m6ran ni 's fhearr dhaibh na 'n cadal a gheibh 
iad an deigh a' mheadhon oidhche. 

An am an fhoghair tha 'n latha goirid, agus mar sin, feumaidh 
daoine a bhith gu math moch air an cois ma bhios toil aca obair 
mhath a chur as an deigh. Cha bhiodh daoine 's an am a dh' 
fhalbh ag itheadh greim bidh air an latha an am an fhoghair. Mar 
a tha'n sean-fhacal ag radh, " Tri bidh air an oidhche 's gun aon 
ghreim air an latha." Bha' cheud bhiadh aca 'ga ghabhail ri solus 
a' chruisgein, air choir 's gu 'm biodh iad deas gus a dhol a bhnain 
no a dhluthadh, no a thogail a' bhuntata cho luma luath 's a 
chitheadh an suil an latha. Cha rachadh greim 'nan ceann 
tuilleadh gus an tigeadh iad dhachaidh anamoch 's an fheasgar. 

An uair a ghabhadh iad an dara biadh cha b' e suidhe agus an 
lamhan a phasgadh mu J n gluinean a dheanadh iad idir. Bheireadh 
na mnathan lamb air caird agus air cuibhil, no air figheadh 
stocainn, no air obair fheumail sam bith eile a bhiodh aca ri 
dheanamh. Bhiodh na fir a' froiseadh anns an t-sabhal, no a' 
sniomh fhraoich, no mhurain, no chonnlaich, a chum gu 'm biodh 
tubhadh is sioman gu leor aca gu gabhail gu math 's gu ro mhath 
mu na taighean 's mu na cruachan mu 'n tigeadh stoirmeannan a' 
gheamhraidh. An uair a bhiodh e' tarruinn dluth ri trath-cadail 
dheanteadh deas greim suipearach. 'Na dheigh sin ghabhadh 
muinntir an taighe mu thamh. Air dhaibh a bhith sgith an 
deigh obair an latha, chaidleadh iad gu trom gus am biodh an 
t-am aca eirigh an la-iar-na-mhaireach. 

Bhiodh sri mh6r eadar theaghlaichean feuch c6 bu luaithe 
bhiodh ullamh de 'n bhuain, cha b' ann a mhain a chum gu 
faighteadh an t-arbhar a chur fo dhion ann an am gun domail 
sam bith, ach mar an ceudna air eagal gu 'n cuirteadh " a* 
chailleach" orra. Cha 'n 'eil furasda dhuinn a dheanamh a mach 


146 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

ciod a bha daoine a' ciallachadh leis " a' chaillich." Tha cuid a 
deanamh a mach gu robh " a' chailleach" 'na samhladh air gorta. 
Tha iad ag radh gu 'm bu ghnath leis na daoine a bhiodh air 
dheireadh le obair an fhoghair o chionn fad an t-saoghail a bhith 
'call carrann mh6r de 'n bharr le domail spreidhe de gach seorsa. 
Tha so furasda gu Ie6r dhuinn a chreidsinn. Cha ghleidh fear 
sam bith air a chuid barra bhith fajja muigh air an achadh aig 
deireadh an fhoghair. Bidh an t-side fliuch, stoirmeil ; bidh an 
oidhche fada ; agus bidh crodh is eich is caoraich, agus eadhon na 
feidh, na cearcan-fraoich, agus na coilich-dhubha, ag gabhail a 
h-uile fath a gheibh iad air a dhol do 'n arbhar. Cha bhiodh m6r 
thoradh ami an achadh arbhair sam bith air am biodh iad so a' 
taghal fad scachduin. Cha 'n 'eil teagamh nach fhaodadh a 
leithid so tomhas de ghorta 'thoirt an rathad tuathanaich ; oir 
mar a tha 'n seanfhacal ag radh, "Am fear a bhios air deireadh 
beiridh a' bhiast air." 

Ach a reir mo bharail-sa cha 'n e so a tha air a chiallachadh 
leis "a' chaillich." Anns an t-seann aimsir bha seadh aig na 
facail, " bodach," agus, " cailleach," nach 'eil aca an duigh. Bha 
" bodach" a' ciallachadh, seann duine aig nach robh teaghlach, 
agus mar an ceudna bha ' cailleach" a' ciallachadh, seana bhean 
aig nach robh teaghlach. Anns an am ud bha daoine, mar bu 
trice, ag amharc sios air muinntir a bhiodh p6sda, agus aig nach 
biodh teaghlach. Theirteadh, " an seann duine,''' agus, " an 
t-seana bhean," ris gach fear agus te, an uair a thigeadh iad gu aois, 
ma thachair gu robh iad posda agus teaghlach aca. Mar an 
ceudna theirteadh " seana ghille," agus, "seann nighean" riuthasan 
a rainig aois, agus nach robh p6sda riamh, co dhuibh thachair gus 
nach do thachair sliochd a bhith aca. 

Nan do thachair gu robh " am bodach agus a' chailleach" cho 
math air an d6igh 's nach ruigeadh iad a leas a dhol a dh' iarraidh 
cuideachaidh uir neach sam bith, is docha nach biodh uiread de 
mhi-mheas orra. Ach gu math trie, bhiodh iadsan aig nach robh 
teaghlaichean feumach air a bhith 'faotainn cuideachaidh o dhaoine 
cile aim an deireadh an laithean. Is ainneamh a chunnacas riamh 
seann duine a' falbh o thaigh gu taigh a dh' iarraidh na deirce, gu 
h-araidh ma thachair dha a bhith pdsda, agus gu robh a bhean 
be6 cho fada ris fhein. Ach ged a tha so fior, tha e mar an 
ceudna fior, gu robh agus gu bheil, na seana mhnathan gu math gu 
siubhal nan taighean, agus gu iarraidh gach ni a bhiodh a dhith 

Anns an t-seann aimsir cha robh aig bochdan na duthchadh 
ach a bhith 'feuchainn ri faotainn troimh an t-saoghal mar a 

Briathran Nan Daione W Fhalbh. 147 

b' fhearr a dh' fhaodadh iad. Cha robh lagh nam bochd aim. Gu 
math trie bhiodh bochdan a' bhaile aig muinntir a' bhaile ri 'n 
<jumail suas, agus is ann aig an fhear a bhiodh air dheireadh le 
obair an fhoghair a bhiodh " cailleach" a' bhaile ri 'cumail suas 
fad na bliadhna. Ach nan tachradh do dhuine aig an robh 
teaghlach lag, no aig an robh trioblaid, a bhith air dheireadh le 
obair an fhoghair, bheireadh na coimhearsnaich lamh-chuideachaidh 
-dha, air eagal gu 'n cuirteadh "a' chailleach" air. Mar bu trice, 
is ann air an fhear bu lugha meas*agus bu spiocaiche a bhiodh 
arms a' bhaile a chuirteadh " a' chailleach." 

Gus- an latha 'n diugh tha cuid de dhaoine aim a tha 'creidsmn 
gu 'n d' thig mi-fhortan air choireiginn 'nan rathad a' bhliadhna a 
chuirteadh " a' chailleach" orra. B'aithne dhomh aon teaghlach a 
bha 'creidsinn gu faigheadh duine no ainmhidh bas orra a' bhliadhna 
a chuirteadh " a' chailleach" orra. Cha robh duine amis a' bhaile a 
bha 'creidsinn so ach iad fhein. Agus air ghaol dragh a chur air 
na h-inntinnean aca, bhiodh na coimhearsnaich a' feuchainn ris 
"a' chaillich" a chur orra a h-uile bliadhna. Bhiodh iomadh 
neach a' caithris na h-oidhche aig am na buana air eagal gu 'n 
cuirteadh " a' chailleach" orra. 

Ged a thainig iomadh atharrachadh air an t-saoghal o'n uair 
ud, tha grain aig daoine air na cailleachan gus an latha 'n diugh, 
agus tha e coltach gu'm bi gu latha deireannach an t-saoghail. 

Bha na seana Ghaidheil a' creidsinn gu robh farmad a' 
dea-namh cron m6r do shluagh an t-saoghail. Theireadh iad " gu 
sgoilteadh am farmad na clachan glasa" A reir am barail, b' e 
farmad a bha 'g aobharachadh na " droch shiiil." Cha bu- nihisde 
leotha daoine a bhith 'g am moladh fhein agus gach ni a bhuineadh 
dhaibh, nan saoileadh iad nach'laidheadh suil an neach a bhiodh 
'g am moladh orra. O'n a bha an sluagh am bithdheantas a' 
creidsinn gu'm biodh daoine agus ainnihidhean air an gonadh le 
droch shuil, theireadh iad, an uair a mholadh iad ni no neach, 
" Cha laidh mo shuil air." Nan tachradh dhaibh gun so a radh, 
theirteadh riutha, " Fliuch do shuil." Bha cuid de dhaoine ann 
a bha comharraichte anns an duthaich air son na bha de dh' eud 
's de dh' f harm ad annta ris gach neach aig am biodh a' bheag no 
mhor de shoirbheachadh anns an t-saoghal. 

Bha e air aithris gu robh aon diubh so air latha araidh J s an 
earrach a' dol seachad air fear a bha treabhadh. Bha a bhean a' 
falbh an ceann nan each, no, mar a theirteadh, "a' ceannaireachd." 
Anns an am ud cha robh fear sam bith a' cleachdadh loinneachan- 
treabhaidh. Cha bhiodh aca ach croinn-threabhaidh fhiodha, 
agus bhiodh eagal orra gu 'm bristeadh na h-eich iad, nam biodh 

148 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

an talamh cruaidh, creagach. Cha b' e srianan a bhiodh aca an. 
ciun nan each, ach taoid, agus mar sin, cha deanadh e feum sani 
bith dhaibh loinueachan a chur ris na h-eich an am a bhith 
treabhabh. B' e obair a' " cheannaire " falbh an comhair a chuil 
roirnh na h-eich, agus greim a chumail air taoid nan each anns 
gach dorn. Bha na h-eich mar so air an cumail o f halbh tuilleadh 
is bras, agus air an cumail anns an aon fhad o cheile. An uair a 
chunnaic a' bhean gu robh fear na droch-shuil a' tighinn an rathad 
a bha iad, thuirt i ris an fhear a bha' treabhadh, " Tha am fear so 
a' tighinn, agus gonaidh e sinn fhein, no na h-eich mu 'm falbh e." 
"Leig thusa eadar mise 's e. Ma mholas esan sinn fhein 's ar 
n-eich 's ar n-obair, dimolaidh mise a h-uile ni a mholas esan," 
ars' am fear a bha treabhadh, 's e' stobadh cloiche anns an 

An uair a rainig fear an fharmaid agus na droch-shuil far an. 
robh iad, thuirt e, "Is math an obair a rinn sibh o 'n a chaidh mi 
seachad an so 's a' mhaduinn an diugh." 

" Cha mhath, cha mhath," ars' am fear a bha 'treabhadh, 's e 
'seasamh ; " cha 'n 'eil adhais againn gu obair mhath a dheanamh.. 
Cha 'n 'eil agam ach, 

Crann dhomhain, gann-fhadach, 
Talamh tana, teann, 
Eich dhona gun riaghailt, 
'S bean gun chiall 'nan ceann.' 

An uair a chuala fear na droch-shuil so dh'fhalbh e. Cho 
luath 's a thug e 'chill riutha, sheall am fear a bha 'treabhadh air 
a' chloich a stob e anns an sgriob, agus bha i 'na da leith. Bha so 
mar dhearbhadh aig daoine gu sgoilteadh am farmad na clachan 

Tha e anabarrach comharraichte gu robh beachdan cuid 
de na daoine a dh' f halbh ann an co-chordadh ri beachdan 
cuid de na daoine foghluimte a tha 'n diugh beo. Mar a tha 
fhios againn uile, tha daoine foghluimte ag innseadh dhuinn, 
gu bheil aireamh do-aireamh de chreutairean beaga anns a' 
chruthachadh creutairean a tha cho beag 's nach urraiun an 
t-suil a's geire am faicinn ach le cuideachadh glaine-mheudach- 
aidh. Tha na creutairean so, ma 's fhior an luchd-foghluim, 
anns an uisge a tha sinn ag 61, anns an aile a tha sinn ag analach- 
adh, agus anns gach lot agus creuchd a tha araon air taobh a 
muigh 's air taobh a staigh cuirp gach creutair beo. Ged nach 
'eil uine fhada o 'n a chuala na Gaill iomradh air creutairean de 'n 

Briathran Nan Daoine 'dh' Fhalbh. 149 

t-seorsa so, is fhada 's cian o 'n a bha fhios aig na Gaidheil gu robh 
.an leithidean ann. Is i an fkrlde creutair cho beag 's is urrainn 
.-suil daine fhaicinn. Is ioinadh duine aig nach 'eil fradharc cho 
geur 's gu faic e i. Is minic a chunnaic mi feadhain aig am biodh 
fradharc geur 'g an toirt a mach a craicionn nan lamh ri latha 
soilleir, grianach 's an t-samhradh. Dheanainn a mach i a cheart- 
air-eiginn air gob na snathaide-bige. Aig an am bha mo fhradharc 
.anabarrach geur. A nis, bha na Gaidheil a' creidsinn gu robh 
creutair ann a bha mile uair ni bu lugha na fride. B' e sin an 
Stiolcam-staodhram a bha ann am bacan na h-ioscaid aice. Mar a 
bha smfhrlrfe a' tighitm be6 le bhith 'cnuasach ann an craicionn 
.an duine, bha an Stiolcam-staodhram mar an ceudna a' tighinn beo 
le bhith 'cuuasach ann an craicionn na fride. Ged a bha daoine a' 
deanamh fanaid air na Gaidheil a bha 'creidsinn gu robh creutairean 
cho beag so amis a' chruthachadh, gidheadh tha sinne a nis a' 
creidsinn gu bheil iad ann. Nan toisicheamaid ri aicheadh, 
bhiomaid 'nar culaidh-mhagaidh aig daoine eile mar a bha iadsan. 
Tha na beachdan so a' nochdadh dhuinn, gu robh na seana 
Ghaidheil gu nadurra gle gheur-chuiseach, agus gu robh iad 
comasach air nithean iongantach a dhealbh 'nan inntinnean. 

Anns an am a dh' fhalbh, mar anns an am a tha lathair, bha 
mnathan mhac, coimheach, air uairean, ris na mathraichean-ceile. 
Mar a tha 'n seanfhacal ag radh 

" Mar dhobhran am bun uisge, 
Mar sheabhag gu eun sleibhe. 
Mar chii gu cat, mar chat gu luch, 
Tha bean mic gu' mathair-cheile." 

So seanfhacal eile " Anns an rathad, mar a bha mathair fir-an- 
taighe." Bha mathair-cheile ann aon uair, agus cha 'n fhaigheadh 
i ach a' chuid bu mhiosa de 'n bhiadh o bhean a mic. Bliadhna 
de na bliadhnaichean, an uair a mharbhadh mart 's an taigh, 
chuireadh an adha air leith gus a bhith 'ga toirt do 'n t-seana- 
mhnaoi. Cha d' thubhairt an t-seana-bhean bhochd diog mu 'n 
chuis ri neach sam bith. Bha toil aice innseadh d'a mac mar a 
bha, ach bha eagal oirre gu'n togadh an gnothach aimhreit anns an 
taigh. Air oidhche araidh 's an teaghlach gu leir 'nan suidhe 
mu 'n teine, dh' eirich an t-seana-bhean o 'n teine agus chaidh i' 
mach as an taigh. An uair a thainig i steach thuirt a mac, 
"Ciod e an oidhche a tha muia'h a nochd, a mhathair 1 ?" "Innaidh 
mi sin dhut, a mhic," ars' ise 's i' freagairt, "tha oidhche 
runnagach, rannagach, reulagach, gun ghaoith, gun turadh, gun 
viiisge." " Is iongantach an oidhche a th' ann, a mhathair," ars' a 

150 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

mac. " Is iongantaiche na sin, a mhic, mart m6r a bhith na 
h-aon adha." Ghrad thuig am mac mar a bha cuisean, agus na 
dheigh sin dh' fhcumadh a mhathair a bhith aig an aou bhord ris- 

Mar bu trice, bha na seana Ghaidheil 'nan daoine stuama gu 
nadurra. Gun tcagamh sam bith gheibhteadh aon is aon 'nam 
measg a dh' itheadh 's a dh oladh tuilleadh 's a' choir. Cha robh 
am fear a dh' oladh tuilleadh 's a' choir a leith cho suarach ami an 
sealladh dhaoinc ris an fhear a dh' itheadh tuilleadh 's a' choir. 
Bu mho a bhiodli de mhasladh airman fhcar a ghabhadh ail 
" tairbhean" aon uair, na bhiodli air an fhear a ghabhadh an 
daorach fichead uair. Air eagal gu 'n gabhadh daoine an 
" tairbJiean" bhiteadh a' comhairleachadh dhaibh gun am bru a 
lionadh le biadh aig am sam bith. Am fear a lionadh a bhrii le 
biadh math laidir, bhiodh e ami an cunnart an "tairbhean" 
a ghabhail an uair a th6isicheadh am biadh ri at air an stamaig 
aige. Ach am fear nach lionadh a bhra idir, cha b' eagal da ged 
a thoisicheadh am biadh vi at air an stamaig aigc. A chum a 
nochdadh do dhaoine cho suarach 's a bha am fear a dh' itheadh 
a leor, thcirteadh, " Cha '11 ith a leor ach an cu." Nam biodh 
fear ami a dh' itheadh moran, theirteadh, " Dh' itheadh e- 
uircad ri cu ged bhiodli a bhru air at." Tha e duilich 
dhuinn a dheanamh a inach co dhiu bha gus nach robh an 
cii 'na chreutair truaillidh, grameil aim an sealladh nan 
seana Ghaidheal. An am dhaibh a bhith 'caincadh a' cheile 
theireadh iad " Cha 'n 'eil annad ach an cu." " Tha thu 'falbh 
mar gu'm biodh cu, o shitig gu sitig." " A mhic a' choin." "A 
nighean a' choin." Ach air an laimh eile, gheibhear iomadh 
comharradh air e mheas a bha aig daoine air a' chii. Is fhada a 
chualas na briathran so, "Mo charaide baigh 's mo namhaid 
munaidh," no, ami am briathran eile, "Mo chu 's mo bhean." 
Tha e furasda dhuinn a thuigsinn gu bheil an cu baigheil ris a' 
mhaighstir a bhios caoimhneil ris. Dh' fhaodamaid iomadh 
naigheachd innseadh mar dhearbhadh air so. Ach cia mar a tha 
bean fir sam bith 'na "namhaid munaidh," cha 'n 'eil e furasda 
dhuinn a thuigsinn. Cha 'n 'eil am facal so, " munadh," a nis air 
a chleachdadh 'nar measg. Ach bha e aon uair cumanta gu leor. 
Tha e fhathast cumanta gu leor ann an Eirinn. Tha e ciallachadh, 
" foghlum," no " fiosrachadh." 

Tha'ndk fhacal so, "freiteach," agus, "b6id," leith-choltach 
ri' cheile ann an seadh. Ach mar a dh' eirich do dh' iomadh facal 
eile a tha leith-choltach ri' cheale, tha a leithid a dh' eadar-dheal- 
achadh eatorra 's nach urrainnear an dara fear a chur ann an aite 

Giraldus Gambrensis. 151 

an fhir eile. Tha am facal, " b6id" air a ghnathachadh an uair a 
tha daoine a' cur rompa gu'n dean iad gniomh math, ar neo gu 
seachainn iad droch obair, no droch cleachdadh, no droch cuid- 
eachd. Air an laimh eile tha am facal, " freiteach," air a ghnath- 
achadh an uair a tha duine a' cur roimhe gu'n dean e olc air 
duine eile, no gu sguir e de dheauamh math, agus de nochdadh 
caoimhneis do dhaoine eile. Is fhad o 'n a chualas an seanfhacal 
so : 

" Cha chum air a fhrei teach, 

Ach an deamhan eitidh." 

Bu ghnothaoh math do dh' fhear cumail air a bhoid ; ach b' olc 
an gnothach dha cumail air a fhreiteach. Is iomadh uair a gheibh 
an droch nadur a leithid de bhuaidh air .duine 's gu'n abair e gu'n 
dean e an t-olc so 's an t-olc ud eile air a cho-chreutair. Ach mar 
is trice cha chum e ri 'fhacal. An uair a thraoghas 'fhearg, chi e 
gur gaothach ro eucorach dha a bhagraidhean a chur an gniomh. 
Ach o nach 'eil ni math sam bith anns an deamhan cumaidh e air 
a fhreiteach. Ach ma tha neach sam bith a' cumail air a fhreiteach 
feumaidh gu bheil tomhas m6r de nadur an deamhain ann. 
Cha'n aithne dhomh ni a's fhearr a chuireas solus air nor sheadh 
an fhacail, " freiteach," na' chunntas a tha againn air mar a chuir 
an da fhichead ludhach iad fhein fo mhallachadh, ag radh nach 
itheadh agus nach 61adh iad gus am marbhadh iad Pol. Cha do 
chum na fir so air am freiteach, do bhrigh 's nach b' urrainn 

20th MARCH, 1895. 

At this meeting Mr Wm. Kemp, of Messrs Strothers & Co., 
Inverness, was elected an ordinary member of the Society. There- 
after Mr Duncan Campbell, editor, Northern Chronicle, read a 
paper on "Giraldus Cambrensis," which was as follows : 


Giraldus Cambrensis or Welsh Gerald, whosie first baptismal " 
name was Silvester was born about the year 1146 in the Castle 
of Manorbeer, Pembrokeshire. He was of mixed descent. His 
father, William de Barri, was apparently a man of Norman 
descent, who derived the territorial surname " de Barri" from the 

152 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

little island of Barri, on the coast of Glamorganshire, which was 
the first possession of the family in Wales. William de Barri's 
second wife, and the mother of our author, was Angharad, full 
sister of William, Maurice, and David Fitzgerald, and half-sister 
both of Henry Fitzhenry and Robert Fitzstephen. Our author's 
cousin, William, eldest son of Maurice Fitzgerald, married Alina, 
daughter of Eirl Strongbow. We have to go back to our author's 
grandmother, Nesta, daughter of Rhys, Prince of South Wales, 
for the origin of the remarkable Norman- Welsh kindred that 
undertook, and to a wonderful extent accomplished, the conquest 
of Ireland. In the first adventure and conquest the Saxons had 
no share. But to explain how the Norman-Welsh kindred had 
been formed, let us revert to Nesta. She was celebrated for her 
beauty, and when she was a very young woman she had an ille- 
gitimate son to Prince Henry, the youngest son of the Conqueror, 
afterwards Henry I. That son was the father of the Fitzhenry 
clan. By her marriage with Gerald de Windsor, Nesta became 
the mother of the Fitzgerald brothers and of Angharad. After 
Gerald de Windsor's death, Nesta married Stephen, Castellan of 
Abertivy, and by him had a son, Robert Fitzstephen, founder of 
the clan of the same surname. Being destined for the Church, 
our author received his early clerical training and education from 
his uncle, David Fitzgerald, Bishop of St David's. He remained 
with his uncle until he entered upon his twentieth year, when he 
went to the University of Paris, where, as he tells us for he is 
never shy about blowing his own trumpet he gained great dis- 
tinction. He certainly acquired a large acquaintance with the 
Latin classics, and learned to write in that language with a fluent 
and lively pen. There is scarcely, indeed, any mediaeval Latinist 
who came as near as Gerald to the gossipy newspaper corres- 
pondent of our times, who passes from subject to subject as 
the bee passes from flower to flower, sucking some honey 
from all. On his return to England in 1172, he was appointed 
Archdeacon of Brecknock. His uncle's successor having died, 
the Chapter elected Gerald to be Bishop of St David's, but King 
Henry and the Archbishop of Canterbury would not let him be 
instituted. Although paternally of Norman lineage, he was too 
much of a Welshman to suit them. He claimed for the see of 
St David's metropolitan jurisdiction over Wales, and had his 
election been allowed, it is more than probable that he would 
have repudiated obedience to Canterbury. He was again elected 
by the Chapter on a vacancy occurring in 1198, and was again 
refused institution. Having set his mind on the Welsh metro 

Giraldus Cambrensis. 153 

politan see, he declined to accept the Bishopric of Bangor in 1190, 
and the Bishopric of Landaff in 1191. Ab last, in 1215, the 
coveted position was offered to him, but he then declined to accept 
it on account of age and studies. He is supposed to have died 
about 1223. Seemingly, Henry Plantagenet and his sons wished 
to patronise and promote Gerald, although they wonld not let him 
get into the position where he could best vindicate the independ- 
ence of the Welsh Church. His relations with King Henry, King 
Richard Cceur-de-Lion, and King John were half friendly, half 
hostile. He spoke so freely about them in his books books 
which he wished them to get translated for him into Norman 
French, for the general edification of their noble vassals that 
one should think he only owed his immunity from punishment to 
his clerical habit. But as no hint is given that he was ever 
threatened, we must assume that, with all their faults, the 
Plantagenets were tolerant of severe personal criticism. On his 
first election by the Chapter of St David's being quashed, Gerald 
went off in a huff to enjoy the company of loarned men in the 
University of Paris. He was not deprived of his benefices he 
had more than one, being, for all his strictures on others, a 
pluralist himself. When it suited him to return, he was well 
received. He spent some of his time at Henry's Court, both in 
France and in England, and when Henry made his youngest son, 
John, Lord of Ireland, he sent Gerald, as a sort of monitor, with 
the royal scamp and his gay retinue to that country. Gerald had 
paid a previous visit to Ireland, and stayed a year there among 
his own Norman-Welsh kindred, gathering information about the 
history of the conquest, and about the country, its inhabitants, 
and marvels. It was in 1185 that he went with Prince John to 
Ireland. He made a stay of two years on this second visit, and 
diligently gathered materials for his two books on Ireland " The 
Topography of Ireland" and " The Vaticinal History of the Con- 
quest of Ireland." 

" The Topography of Ireland" is divided into three parts, 
which the author calls "Distinctions." In the first "Distinction," 
Gerald gives a description of the country, its lakes, rivers, climate, 
soil, wild animals, birds, and fishes. He corrects Bede, who, 
writing in the early part of the 8th century, said that Ireland did 
not lack vineyards ; and Solinus and Isidore, who said that it had 
no bees. Gerald found bees and honey in Ireland, but no vine- 
yards. "Vines," he says, "it never possessed nor cultivators of 
them. Still, foreign commerce supplies it with so much wine, 
that the want of the growth of vines and their natural production 

154 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

is scarcely felt. Poitou, out of its superabundance, exports vast 
quantities of wine to Ireland, which willingly gives in return its 
ox-hides and the skins of cattle and wild beasts." He thought 
the Irish bees would thrive better and gather sweeter honey if 
the country had fewer yew trees. Although he made a strange 
mistake about the Shannon, one branch of which he thought 
flowed northward into Donegal Bay, his topographical description 
of Ireland is valuable, and accurate, too, as far as he saw the 
country himself. He gives a list of the wild beasts, birds, and 
fishes of Ireland, but it is by uo *eans as full as the list in 
" Caoilte's Rabble" that is in the Gaelic poem, which tells how 
Caoilte ransomed Fionn, by capturing a pair of all the wild 
animals of Ireland. He praises the fertility of the soil, and yet 
tells us that the natives grew oats which were so light that it was 
difficult to winnow them from the chaff. Black oats, cultivated 
formerly in the Highlands in upland places, were of this light 
kind. They defied the winds, which spoiled heavier-headed oats, 
and made excellent fodder. It is, indeed, a question whether they 
should not yet be re-introduced for fodder and feeding purposes. 
A rather heavier kind of black oats forms the chief forage of South 
Africa to the present day. Gerald, who always gave a ready ear 
to marvellous stories, was told that Irish grasshoppers sang better 
when their heads were cut off, and revived spontaneously after 
being long dead. He was told, of course, what was more of a 
fact, that reptiles could not live in Ireland, and yet he has to 
confess that in his own time a frog, or toad, was discovered in a 
grassy meadow, near Waterford. He attributes the absence of 
reptiles to the position of Ireland as the mo&t westerly country in 
the world, as was thought in his time the east being the fountain- 
head of poisons, and the west the opposite. America and its 
rattlesnakes were not then dreamed of, if they were not in a dim 
way prophesied by the tales about the lost Atlantis. About 
Ultima Thule Gerald sensibly observes that, if not a fabulous 
island, it must be looked for in the most remote and distant 
recesses of the northem ocean, far off under the Arctic Pole. It 
struck our author that the stags, boars, and hares of Ireland were 
small in short, that all animals except man were smaller there 
than in other countries. 

The Second Distinction is dedicated to monstrous births, trans- 
formations, prodigies, and above all to Saints' miracles. But it has 
stray notes of natural history also, such as the following : 
" Cocks at roost in Ireland do not, as in other countries, divide 
the third and last watches of the night by crowing at three 

Giraldus Cambrensis. 155 

successive periods in the interval. Here they are heard a little 
before dawn ; and the day is known to be as far off from the first 
cock-crowing here as it is elsewhere from the third. Nor is it to 
be supposed that they have here a different nature from those in 
other countries ; for cocks which are brought over to the island 
from other parts crow here at these periods." Gerald writes 
about the Book of Kildare, which has been unfortunately lost, 
with all the fervour of a man who, from its beautiful writing and 
illustrations, could well believe that it had been dictated by and 
completed under the superintendence of an angel more than seven 
hundred years before his time. He tells us that it contained the 
Four Gospels according to St Jerom, and that almost every page 
was illustrated by drawings illuminated with a variety of brilliant 
colours. He concludes the catalogue of Saints' miracles and the 
third Distinction by the following suggestive chapter : " It 
appears to me very remarkable and deserving of notice that, as in 
the present life, the people of this nation are beyond all others 
irascible and prompt to revenge, so also in the life that is after 
death, the saints of this country, exalted by their merits above 
those of other lands, appear to be of a vindictive temper. There 
appears to me no other way of accounting for this circumstance 
but this : As the Irish people possess no castles, while the 
country is full of marauders who live by plunder, the people, and 
more especially the ecclesiastics, made it their practice to have 
recourse to the churches instead of fortified places, as refuges for 
themselves and their property : and by divine Providence and 
permission there was frequent need that the Church should visit 
her enemies with the severest chastisements, this being the only 
mode by which evil-doers and impious men could be deterred from 
breaking the peace of ecclesiastical societies, and for securing even 
to a servile submission the reverence due to the very churches 
themselves, from a rude and irreligious people." 

The Third Distinction treats of the people and history of 
Ireland. Gerald found Ireland peopled by mixed races. Until 
the Norman-Welsh invasion the Ostmen or Northmen held 
Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, arid Limerick as their walled cities,, 
with much adjacent land attached to each. These Ostmen came 
as traders after their kinsmen the Norwegians had lost the 
supremacy they obtained over Ireland in the middle of the ninth 
century. Gerald gives the early and fabulous history of Ireland 
before the coming in of the Norwegians much as it is given by 
Keating. He copied it in full from Irish books. The greatest 
leader of the Norwegians, who made himself King of Dublin, and 

156 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

subsequently gained a thirty years' sort of supremacy in Ireland, 
was Thorgils, one of the twenty sons of Harold Fairhair, the first 
sole King of Norway, who died about the year 931. Gerald 
Latinises *fehe name of Thorgils into Turgesius. The Saga of Olaf 
Tryggwason, nephew of Thorgils, says : " To Thorgils and Frodi 
King Harold gave ships of war, and they went on Wicking 
expedition to the west, where they harried Scotland, Bretland 
(Wales), and Ireland. They were the first Northmen who gained 
possession of Dublin in Ireland. Frodi, it is said, had a drink 
given him, mixed with poison, whiCh caused his death ; but 
Thorgils was for a long time King of Dublin, and at last fell there 
by the treachery of the Irish." Gerald tells how Thorgils was 
overcome by Irish guile : Turgesius, being deeply enamoured of 
the daughter of Omachlachhelin, King of Meath, the King, 
dissembling his vindictive feelings, promised to give him his 
daughter, and to send her to a certain island in Meath, in the 
lake called Lochyrcnus, attended by fifteen damsels of high rank. 
Turgesius, being highly pleased at this, went to meet them at the 
appointed day and place, accompanied by the same number of 
nobles of his own nation. On his arrival on the island, he was 
met by fifteen courageous but beardless youths, who had been 
selected for the enterprise, and were dressed as young women, 
with daggers secreted under their mantles ; and as soon as 
Turgesius and his companions advanced to embrace them, they 
fell upon them and slew them." A general revolt of the Irish 
and a massacre of Norwegians followed the slaughter of 
Thorgils and his chiefs. 

According to Gerald's information, the Norwegians who made 
their first settlements in Ireland in 838 had Turgesius for their 
leader. The Norwegians had as pirates ravaged the coasts of 
Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and England forty years before that 
time. But it was not till about the date mentioned by Gerald 
that they made permanent settlements in Ireland, and the first 
settlers were Danes as well as Norwegians. Thorgils could not 
have been the leader of the first Norwegian settlers, for the very 
good reason that even his father, Harold Fairhair, was not born 
till some twenty years after 838. Thorgils' expedition to Ireland 
could not have taken place much earlier than 900. He v re, then, 
there is a great time discrepancy to be noted. We trust the 
statement of the Saga that Thorgils was the first Norwegian king 
of Dublin, and that he reigned there for a long time. The Saga 
writers knew of no other Norse invaders of Ireland except 
Thorgils, whose life and death could be made to agree, in any 

Giraldus Cambrensis. 157 

reasonable manner, with the Irish stories of Turgesius. We 
therefore assume that Thorgils, when draped in myths, became 
the Turges or Turgesius of the Irish legends, and that to him 
were ascribed, as the consolidator of their conquests, all the deeds 
of the earlier settlers. The Norse power in Ireland was not 
overthrown by the death of Thorgils. It lasted until it was- 
terminated by the Battle of Clontarf, in 1014 and, strange to 
say, the Saga of Olaf Tryggwason, and Gerald, make no mention 
whatever of that decisive Celtic victory, in which the men of 
Gaelic-speaking Scotland and their Irish kinsmen fought shoulder 
to shoulder against the foreign invaders, and erstwhile ravagers 
and conquerors. 

, With the exception of the Ostmeri and the remnants of the 
older Norse conquerors and colonists who associated themselves 
with them after the Battle of Clontarf, the inhabitants of Ireland, 
at the time when Gerald's friends invaded that country, all spoke 
the Gaelic language, and were held to be one people, although 
their own traditions indicated diverse descents. Gerald draws 
from his own knowledge and experience a broad line of distinction 
between the North and Southern Irish. " We find," he writes, 
" that the people of the North of Ireland were always warlike,, 
while those of the South were subtle and crafty ; the one coveted 
glory, and the other was steeped in falsehood ; the one trusted to- 
their arms and the other to their arts ; the one full of courage, 
and the other of deceit." Let us be thankful that it was from 
the North the Scots came to Alba. Perhaps the line of demarca- 
tion was, in some respects, weak or confused ; but we have to 
bear in mind that it existed clearly in Gerald's mind, and his 
accusations of treachery, cruelty, and immorality apply more 
directly to the people of Leinster and Munster than to those of 
Connaught and Ulster, particularly the latter. Gerald enthusi- 
astically admired the incomparable skill of the Irish in music and 
in playing on musical instruments, of which they had only two, 
the harp and the tabor, while Scotland had three, the harp, 
tabor, and crotta, or emit, and Wales had three, the harp, pipes, 
and cruit. He adds, " Scotland, at the present day that is in 
1187 in the opinion of many persons is not 'only equal to 
Ireland, her teacher, in musical skill, but excels her ; so that they 
now look to that country as the fountain-head of this science." 
The fosterage or codhaltachd, by mixing and drinking each other's 
blood, which he found existing in Ireland, disgusted and 
frightened Gerald, although he liked well enough the fosterage by 
nursing which existed in Wales and in Scotland, and made the 

158 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

foster-brothers truer to one another than the natural brothers. 
Irish uncanonical marriages, marriage of first cousins, and, above all, 
the marriage of deceased brothers' widows by surviving brothers, 
in strict accordance with the Levitical law, and for the purpose 
of perpetuating the dead brothers' lineage, horrified him 
utterly. He attributed very detrimental consequences to 
these uncanonical marriages, for truly he had a sort of 
craze on the subject, and was quite as severe on the Welsh as he 
was on the Irish for their forbidden Alliances. Speaking of the 
Irish, he says: "Moreover, I have never seen in any other nation 
so many individuals who were born blind, so many lame, maimed, 
or having some natural defect. The persons of those who are 
well formed are indeed remarkably fine, nowhere better ; but as 
those who are favoured with the gifts of nature grow up exceed- 
ingly handsome, those from whom she withholds them are 
exceedingly ugly. No wonder if among an adulterous and 
incestuous people, in which both births and marriages are 
illegitimate, a nation out of the pale of laws, nature herself should 
be foully corrupted by perverse habits." Gerald was not an 
unbiassed witness in respect to matters which concerned the order 
of the Roman Church. It must be remembered that Henry II. 
held a Papal bull not only sanctioning his conquest of Ireland, 
but enjoining him to accomplish that conquest as a sacred duty. 
On the agricultural state of Ireland at the time of the Conquest, 
Gerald, who was a sharp observer, and knew how matters 
agricultural were in Wales, England, and France, is a good 
unbiassed witness. And what does he say? "The Irish are a 
rude people, subsisting on the produce of their cattle only, and 
living themselves like beasts a people that has not yet departed 
from the primitive habits of pastoral life. In the common course 
of things, mankind progresses from the forest to the field, from 
the field to the town and to the social condition of citizens, and 
this nation, holding agricultural labour in contempt and little 
coveting the wealth of towns, as well as being exceedingly averse 
to civil institutions, lead the same life their fathers did in the 
woods and open pastures, neither willing to abandon their old 
habits or learn anything new. They, therefore, make only patches 
of tillage ; their pastures are short of herbage ; cultivation is very 
rare, and there is scarcely any land sown. This want of tilled 
fields arises from the neglect of those who should cultivate them, 
for there are large tracts which are naturally fertile and produc- 
tive. The whole habits of the people are contrary to agricultural 
pursuits, so that the rich glebe is barren for want of husbandmen, 
the fields demanding labour which is not forthcoming." 

Gi raid us Cambrensis. 159 

If we bear in mind that Gerald, from his kinship with the 
invaders who went to Ireland with Papal sanction and authority 
to conquer that country, in the name of Christianity, would be 
naturally disposed to magnify the evils and abuses of the national 
Irish Church, we must take his. report of what he found to be 
really the very opposite of condemnation. He went, like Balaam, 
prepared to curse ; but, as an honest man, when he investigated 
matters, he felt, upon the whole, constrained to bless. He speaks, 
indeed, of finding in Ireland a class of uncanonical lay-ecclesiastics, 
whom he thus describes : " It must be observed also that the 
men who enjoy ecclesiastical immunity, and are called ecclesias- 
tical men, although they be laics, and have wives, and wear long 
hair hanging down below their shoulders, but only do not bear 
arms, wear for their protection, by the authority of the Pope, 
fillets on the crown of their heads, as a mark of distinction." 
But in Ireland the lay-ecclesiastics had not, as they had done 
about the same time in Scotland, appropriated to a very marked 
extent the Church lands, or vitally degraded or transformed the 
Church's character. Gerald, who was a strong partisan of the 
secular clergy, attributes the Irish Church's loss of spiritual 
influence over princes and people, in a large degree, to the fact 
that the Irish bishops were mostly elected from the monasteries. 
" They seclude themselves," he says, " according to ancient 
custom within the inclosures of their churches, and are generally 
content with indulging in a contemplative life. They scrupul- 
ously perform all the duties of a monk, but pass by all those 
which belong to the clergy and bishops." The worst faults to be 
found with these Irish bishops, therefore, are the comparatively 
venial ones of monkish seclusion, and deficient pastoral oversight 
and discipline. It is admitted that they led blameless lives, and 
were examples of Christian goodness to clergy and people. But 
what does Gerald say of the most important body of the clergy, 
the parish priests 1 Let him speak for himself : " The clergy 
of the country are commendable enough for their piety ; and 
among many other virtues in which they excel, are especially 
eminent for that of continence. They also perform with great 
regularity the services of the psalms, hours, lessons, and prayers, 
and, confining themselves to the precincts of their churches, 
employ their whole time in the offices to which they are appointed. 
They also pay attention to the rules of abstinence and a spare 
diet, the greatest part of them fasting almost every day till dusk, 
when, by singing complines, they have finished the offices of the 
several hours for the day. Would, that after these long fasts, 

160 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

they were as sober as they are serious, as true as they are severe,, 
as pure as they are enduring, such as they are in appearance. 
But among so many thousands you will scarcely find one who,, 
after his devotion to long fastings and prayers, does not make up 
by night for his privations during the day, by the enormous 
quantities of wine and other liquors in which he indulges more 
than is beceming. Dividing the day of twenty-four hours into 
two equal parts, they devote the hours of light to spiritual offices,. 
and those of night to the flesh, so that in the light they apply 
themselves to the work of the light, and in the dark they turn to 
the works of darkness. Hence it may be considered almost a 
miracle that where wine has the dominion lust does not reign 
also." We should much like to know whether or not the " drop 
of potheen" was included in the " other drinks" consumed by the 
Irish priests of Gerald's time. We daresay it was, for there were 
" distillers" in the south of Scotland, according to the ancient 
poems of Wales, in the sixth and seventh centuries, and the- 
monks made " the water of life" probably earliest of all. Gerald 
declares that a large number of the Irish people remained un- 
baptised. But was that due to clerical neglect? Was it not 
more probably due to that peculiar idea of the cleansing efficacy 
of the sacrament, which could not be twice repeated, that made 
Constantine the Great put off his baptism till he felt he was- 

" The Vaticinal History of the Conquest of Ireland," although 
the most important of all our author's works, does not fall within 
the scope of this paper. We pass on, therefore, to his two books 
on Wales "The Description of Wales" and "The Itinerary 
through Wales." 

The "Description" was probably written earlier than the 
" Itinerary." The latter is Gerald's record of his travels in Wales 
along with Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, when preaching 
the third Crusade, in the year 1188. Gerald was, as he tells us, 
the first man in Wales who took the cross, but he does not tell us 
that he got a dispensation absolving him from his vow afterwards, 
and remained at home, while Baldwin, the venerable man, pro- 
ceeded to the Holy Land and died there. 

Gerald is disposed to be as friendly in his remarks on the 
Welsh as he was to be severe on the Irish. Still, honesty com- 
pels him to admit that the irascibility of the Irish finds its equal 
in Wales, and that, upon the whole, the Welsh marriage customs, 
and the relation of the sexes in that country, are worse than in 
Ireland. We may pass over his condemnation of the marriage of 

Giraldus Cam b re n sis. 161 

first cousins, which was a prevalent custom throughout Wales 
then, as it is now. But it seems that there was in Wales a custom 
of having girls as concubines for specified periods, on specified 
conditions, which sometimes ended in marriage, but more 
frequently in separation at the end of the engagement time, like 
the "hand-fasting" of the Scotch Borders. And if the matri- 
monial morals of the princes, chieftains, and people were low, 
they had among them some clerics who were every bit as bad as 
themselves. We read in the " Itinerary " of a church of ancient 
importance situated near Aberystwyth, in Cardiganshire : ''* It is 
remarkable that this church, like many others in Wales and 
Ireland, has a lay abbot ; for a bad custom has prevailed amongst 
the clergy of appointing the most powerful people of a parish 
stewards, or rather patrons of their churches, who, in process of 
time, from a desire of gain, have usurped the whole right, 
appropriating to their own use the possession of all lands, leaving 
only to the clergy the altars, with their tenths and oblations, and 
assigning even these to their sons and relatives in the" church. 
Such defenders, or rather destroyers of the church have caused 
themselves to be called abbots, and presumed to attribute to 
themselves a title, as well as estates, to which they have no just 
claim. In this state, we found the church of Lhanpadarn without 
a head, a certain old man, waxen old in iniquity (whose name was 
Eden Oen, son of Graithwoed), being abbot, and his sons officiating 
at the altars. This wicked people boast that a certain bishop of 
their church for it formerly was a cathedral was murdered by 
their predecessors ; and, on this account chiefly, they ground their 
claim of right and possession. 

Barring the murder of a bishop, it was by a precisely similar 
process that the Columban or Culdee Church of Scotland was 
deprived of spiritual energy and robbed of her possessions. Ireland 
comes out best. In Gerald's time, "the portable bells, and the 
staves of the saints, having their upper ends curved and inlaid 
with gold, silver, or brass, were held in great reverence by the 
people and clergy of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales ; insomuch, 
that they had much greater regard for oaths sworn on these than 
on the Gospels." The " Staff of Jesus " in Ireland, and the " Staff 
of St Cyric " in Wales were particularly famous. 

There was one Culdee establishment in Wales in 1180. The 
small island of Enhli, now called Bardsey, was then inhabited "by 
very religious monks, called Coelibes or Colidei." It is a pity that 
we are not told whether they were Gaelic-speaking monks from 
Scotland or Ireland, or natives of Wales. 


162 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Gerald is always unsatisfactory in regard to the question of 
languages. Latin was the universal language of the clergy and 
the learned. Gerald seems to have had some knowledge of Gaelic 
and a plentiful command of Welsh. He could also judge between 
the Saxon dialects of the North and South of England. But as 
Latin served him everywhere among the clergy, he does not throw 
as much light as he could 011 the lingual divisions of the people of 
the British Islands in his day. He intended to write a book 
about Scotland and another about England, corresponding to his 
Irish and Welsh " Topographies." Unfortunately, he did not 
carry out that laudable intention, and even the map of England, 
which, he says, he drew with great care, got lost because he did 
not insert it in his written works, but kept it for the book on 
England which he intended to write. Speaking of the Dalriadic 
Scots who migrated from Ireland to Scotland, he says in his 
" Topograpy of Ireland," " What caused them to migrate there, 
and how and with what treachery, rather than force, they expelled 
from those parts the nation of the Picts, long so powerful, and 
vastly excelling them in arms and valour, it will be my business 
to relate, when I come to treat of the remarkable topography of 
that part of Britain." The Scotland and the Ireland of his own 
day he evidently grouped as Gaelic-speaking countries, notwith- 
standing the non-Celtic elements in both. As to the Brythonic 
Celtic group he is very distinct and accurate : " The people of 
Cornwall and the Armoricans speak a language similar to that of 
the Britons ; and from its origin and near resemblance, it is 
intelligible to the Welsh in many instances, and almost in all; 
and although less delicate and methodical, yet it approaches, as I 
judge, more nearly to the ancient British idiom." 

We iubjoin some Welsh words with Gerald's explanation of 
their meanings 

" Aber, in the British language, signifies every place where two 
rivers unite their streams." 

In Scotland the Gaelic "Inbhir" and "Aber" are almost 
interchangeable. If " Aber" is a purely British word, as 
its prevalence in Gerald's Welsh Topography indicates, it 
can tell nothing about the language of the Picts except 
this, that if they were not themselves of the same race as the 
Britons, they superseded and succeeded Briton inhabitants 
of Alba. 

" Nant means a flowing stream." 

There is no Gaelic word similar to " Nant." 

Gi raid us Cambrensis. 163 

"Lhan = Church." 

We have Lhanbryde near Elgin, which is pure Welsh 
for the Church of St Bride or Brigit. 

" Caerleon = City of the Legions." 

This is the old name for Chester, which was one of the 
stations of the Roman Legions. " Caer" in Gaelic is 
" Cathair," but. both are pronounced alike. 

"Cruc Mawr = the great hill." 

" Cnoc mor" in Gaelic means rather the great knowe 
than the great hill. "Cnoc is pronounced as if the " n" 
was "r," but no doubt there must have been a time when 
Celts and Romans had an older mode of pronouncing "en" 
or " kn" than by simply killing the first consonant or 
changing the second into " r." 

" Lhandewi Brevi = the Church of St David of Brevi," 

" Lhanphadarn Vawr, or the Church of Paternus the Great." 
The Gaelic of this would be " Cilphadarn Mhoir." 

" Lhanvair, that is the Church of St Mary." 
Gaelic, " Cilmuire" or "Cilmailli." 

" Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bachan, that is the greater and 
smaller arms of the sea. Traeth, in the British language, 
signifies a tract of sand flooded by the tides and left bare 
when the sea ebbs." 

Gaelic, " Traigh Mor" and " Traigh Beag." 

" Cantred, a compound word from the British and Irish languages, 
is a portion of land equal to a hundred vills. Wales in all 
contains fifty-four cantreds. The word cantref is derived 
from cant, a hundred, and tref, a village." 

" Trcubh," in Gaelic, has come to mean a blood-kindred 
tribe or clan. " Ciad-treubh" would now mean to us a 
hundred tribes, and not the inhabitants of a hundred 
villages or " toons." 

" Mon mam Cymbry, that is Mona, mother of Wales (Cambria)." 

Mon or Mona is the island of Anglesey, which, from its 
fertility, came to be proverbially called the mother or 
nursing mother of Cambria. 

" Ynys Lenach, or the ecclesiastical island, because many bodies 
of saints are deposited there, and no woman is suffered to 
enter it." 

In Gaelic, " Innis Mhanach" would mean " Isle of 

164 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

One gets the impression from Gerald's description that at the 
close of the twelfth century Wales was far ahead of Ireland in 
agriculture, industrial arts, and amenities of civilisation. On the 
other hand, while our author boasts the Trojan descent of the 
Welsh people, he practically admits that they were less moral 
than the Irish, while quite as irascible End inconstant. They had, 
he says, inherited the courage of their Trojan ancestors, and got 
their arms and military discipline from the French that is from 
the Normans who settled among thein, intermarried with their 
princely and noble families, and built frowning feudal castles, 
which enabled the owners to gather in rents and produce tributes, 
to resist sudden onsets, to protect their own people, and to enforce 
the penalties of law necessary to the establishment of peace, and 
order. While, however, the valour of the native Welsh is praised, 
it is admitted that when they met with a repulse they were 
subject to get into panic and disorder. Another misfortune of 
theirs was that they were always quarrelling among themselves, 
and that feuds were perpetuated from generation to generation. 
Good qualities, however, brighten the dark shades of the picture 
hospitality, arts, poetry, music, and, in fact, for the time, a high 
state of culture, which betokened a legacy from Roman days that 
had been, with some Roman vices, preserved throughout all the 
centuries intervening between the middle of the fifth century and 
the end of the twelfth. 

We get an enthusiastic description of the Teivy and its salmon 
leaps, aud then we are further informed of this peculiarity con- 
cerning that river, that it was the only one in Wales or even in 
England which had beavers. He adds : "In Scotland beavers are 
said to be found on one river, but are very scarce." In Ireland 
the beaver had been killed out before our author went to that 
country. When the preachers of the Crusade reached Chester 
they were nobly entertained by the Earl and Countess of Chester, 
and, ' here, : ' says our author, " we saw what appeared novel to 
us ; for the Countess and her mother, keeping tame deer, pre- 
sented to the Archbishop three small cheeses made from their 

Gerald's books on Wales are, like his books on Ireland, well 
stuffed with marvels and miracles. A prophecy was current in 
Wales that a king of England coming from Ireland through Wales 
should die on the flag ten feet long and six feet broad which 
formed the bridge over the small stream near St David's 
Cathedral. Henry the Second coming from Ireland through 
Wales crossed this bridge, and then asked the Welsh who waited 

Giraldus Cambrensis. 165 

for the fulfilment of the alleged prophecy of Merlin " Who now 
will have any faith in that liar, Merlin." The flag-bridge had a 
legend of its own, independent of the prophecy disproved by the 
bold Plantagenet. It was said to have once spoken and to have 
given itself the crack visible in 1188 by that supernatural effort. 
" Lechlawar," therefore, was its name, which Gerald explains to 
mean " speaking-stone." In the form of " Leac-labhair" a High- 
lander of our own day would see the meaning of " Lechlawar" at 

Gerald believes in King Arthur and in Merlin's prophecies. 
But he tells us that there were two Merlins, separated in time by 
a full century. This is his statement: "There were two 
Merlins ; the one called Ambrosius, who prophesied in the time 
of King Vortigern, was begotten by a demon incubus, and found 
at Caermarden (now Carmarthen), from which circumstance that 
city derived its name of Caermarden, or the city of Merlin ; the 
other Merlin, born in Scotland, was named Celidonius, from the 
Celidonian wood in which he prophesied ; and Sylvester, because 
when engaged in martial conflict he discovered in the air a terrible 
monster, and from that time grew mad, and taking shelter in a 
wood passed the remainder of his days in a savage state. This 
Merlin lived in the time of King Arthur, and is said to have 
prophesied more fully and explicitly than the other." A very old 
Welsh legend about the Caledonian Merlin says that he was born 
heir to a large estate near the forest of Celyddon or Dunkeld, that 
having lost his estate in the war of his prince, Gwenddolan, and 
Aeddan Vradog against Khydderck Hael, he went to Wales, and 
that after fighting at the battle of Camlan under King Arthur's 
banner in 542, he accidentally killed his nephew, which misfortune 
caused him to go mad. The birthplace of this Merlin near the 
Celyddon forest is named Caerwertheven, which if not fabulous 
must have been on the Perthshire lowland border or in Lennox. 
When the preachers of the Crusade reached Nefyn, a village on 
Carnarvon Bay, our author found there a book containing the 
prophesies of the Caledonian Merlin. 

Our author, who totally ignored the Irish fairies, gives the 
following pretty little story of the Welsh ones : 

" A short time before our days, a circumstance worthy of note 
occurred in these parts (Glamorganshire), which Elidorus, a priest, 
most strenuously affirmed had befallen himself. When a youth of 
twelve years, and learning his letters, since, as Solomon says, * The 
root of learning is bitter, although the fruit is sweet,' in order to 
avoid the discipline and frequent stripes inflicted on him by his 

166 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

preceptor, he ran away, and concealed himself under the hollow 
bank of a river. After fasting in that situation for two days, two 
little men of pigmy stature appeared to him, saying ' If you will 
come with us, we will lead you into a country full of delights and 
sports.' Assenting, and rising up, he followed his guides through 
a path, at first subterraneous and dark, into a most beautiful 
country, adorned with rivers and sand meadows, woods and plains, 
but obscure, and not illuminated with the full light of the sun. 
All the days were cloudy, and the nights extremely dark, on 
account of the absence of the moon and the stars. The boy was 
brought before the King, and introduced to him in presence of the 
Court, who, having examined him for a long time, delivered him to 
his son, who was then a boy. These men were of the smallest 
stature, but very well proportioned in their make ; they were all of 
fair complexion, with luxuriant hair falling over their shoulders 
like that of women. They had horses and greyhounds adapted to 
their size. They neither ate flesh nor fish, but lived on milk diet, 
made up into messes with saffron. They never took an oath, for 
they detested nothing as much as telling lies. As often as they 
returned from our upper hemisphere, they reprobated our ambi- 
tion, infidelities, and inconsistencies. They had no form of public 
worship, being strict lovers and reverers, as it seemed, of truth. 
The boy frequently returned to our hemisphere, sometimes 
by the way he had first gone, sometimes by another ; at first 
in company with other persons, and afterwards alone, and made 
himself known to his mother, declaring to her the manners, nature, 
and state of that people. Being desired by her to bring a present 
of gold, with which that region abounded, he stole, while at play 
with the King's son, the golden ball with which he used to divert 
himself, and brought it to his mother in great haste. And when 
he reached the door of his father's house, but not unpursued, and 
was entering it in great hurry, his foot stumbled on the threshold, 
and falling down into the room where his mother was sitting, the 
two pigmies seized the ball which had dropped from his hand, and 
departed, showing the boy every mark of contempt and derision. 
On recovering from his fall, confounded with shame and execrating 
the evil counsel of his mother, he returned by the usual track to 
the subterraneous road, but found no appearance of any passage, 
though he searched for it on the banks of the river for nearly a 
year. But since these calamities are often alleviated by time 
which reason cannot mitigate, the youth having been brought 
back by his friends and mother, and restored on his right way of 
thinking, and learning, in process of time, attained the rank of 

Giraldus Cambrensls. 167 

priesthood. Whenever David II., Bishop of St David's (our 
author's uncle), talked to him in his advanced state of life con- 
cerning this event, he never could relate the particulars without 
shedding tears. He had made himself acquainted with the 
language of that nation, the words of which in his younger days 
he used to recite, which, as the bishop had often informed me, 
were very conformable to the Greek idiom. When they asked for 
water, they said, Ydor ydorum, which meant * bring water,' for 
Ydor in their language, as well as in the Greek, signifies water, from 
which vessels for water are called hypriai ; and Dur also in the 
British language signifies water. When they wanted salt, they 
said, Halgein ydorun, ' bring salt.' Salt is called Hal in Greek, 
and Halen in British." 

When the first great eruption of the sea in 1107 laid a wide 
district of Flanders under water, Henry I., who had obtained a 
power over Wales which was lost in King Stephen's time, and not 
fully regained by Henry Plantagene-., planted several colonies of 
sea-evicted Flemings on the frontiers of Wales. One of these 
colonies was planted in Pembrokeshire, about Haverfordwest. 
Among the Flemings of that district, whom he praises for their 
hardihood and industry, Gerald met with a form of divination 
that was quite new to him. Here is his description of it : " It is 
worthy of remark that these people (the Flemings), from the 
inspection of right shoulders of rams, which have been stripped of 
their flesh, and not roasted but boiled, can discover future events, 
or those which have passed and remained long unknown." The 
strange thing to Highlanders, among whom slinneanachd was 
practised from old to nearly our own days, if, indeed, it has been 
wholly abandoned yet, is that the shoulder-blade sort of divination 
was not found by Gerald among the Welsh and Irish. In late 
times the Highlanders did not think it of much consequence 
whether the shoulder-blade to be inspected was that of a ram or 
goat, or even hare, but they thought the divination spoiled unless 
the shoulder had been boiled, and the flesh stripped off without 
letting the knife or tooth touch the bone. This mode of divina- 
tion belongs to the sacrifice divinations of the Greeks and Romans. 
But both Flemings and Highlanders, who had far less connection 
with the Romans than the Welsh, might have inherited it from 
the Aryan ancestry common to Greeks, Romans, Celts, and Teutons. 

168 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

MARCH 27th, 1895. 

The principal business at this evening's meeting was a paper 
by Rev. Thomas Sinton, Dores, entitled "Snatches of Song 
collected in Badenoch." Mr Sinton's paper was as follows : 


Keeping in view the bulky proportions of the MSS. that now 
lie before me containing this contribution of old songs, it must be 
my endeavour throughout to make whatever explanatory notes 
are added as brief and pithy as may be. 


Early in this century, among the workmen engaged upon the 
construction of Telford's road, that winds along the picturesque 
shores of Loch Laggan, were two brothers from Skye. One of 
them suddenly burst a blood vessel and died. Having seen him 
decently buried in St Kenneth's Church-yard, the survivor hurried 
home with his mournful tale. As he took his way he composed 
this beautiful threnody. Having informed his friends of the sad 
event, a company of them set out for Laggan, exhumed the 
recently interred body, and carried it back all the way to Skye. 

Aig Ceann Loch Lagain so thall, 
Dh' f hag mi 'n tasgaidh mo ghradh, 
'S cha tig e gu brach an taobh so. 

'S ann am Baideanach shuas, 

'Measg nan Domhnullaich suairc, 

Dh' fhag mi 'n cadal mo luaidh 's cha duisg e. 

Dh' fhag mi 'm Baideanach thu, 

'Measg nan Gaidheal 'fhuair cliu 

Fir a' Bhraighe chaidh learn chuir uir ort. 

Ged a bha mi learn fhin, 

Cha robh cairdean am dhith, 

'N am togail 'na chill air ghiulan. 

'N ciste ghiuthais chinn chaoil, 
An deis a dubhadh bho 'n t-saor, 
Chunnacas thairis bhi taomadh uir ort. 

Badenoch Songs. 1C9 

Ach tha mise 'do dheigh, 

Mar bha Oisean 's na Feinn, 

'Gabhail an rathaid 's cha leir dhomh taobh dhe. 

Bha full a' sruthadh bho d' bheul, 
Nach gabhadh caisg ach sior leum, 
'S i bhi tighinn bho d' chleibh na bruchdan. 

Ach, fhir a stiuireas a' ghrian, 

Bho 'toiseaeh gu 'crioch, 

Glac 'anam fo sgiath do churaim ! 


This elegy was composed by Duncan Fraser, Balgown aria 
breabair mor Frisealach upon the death of Colonel Duncan 
Macpherson of Cluny, which took place at Cupar-Fife in 1817. 
After an ancient mode, it is intended to express the feelings of his 
bereaved lady, Catherine Cameron of Fassifern, but it is evident 
that the bard passes occasionally to describe the sorrow of a whole 
clan and coumry. 

! gur mis' th' air mo sgaradh, 
'S cha 'n e 'n t-Earrach a liath mi ; 
Ach na chaill mi an Cupar, 
'S mor mo dhiubhail 'ga iargainn. 
Chaill mi deagh fhear-an-tighe, 
Ceannard cheatharn is cheudan, 
'S trie a bhuannaich an latha, 
An am catha 'ga dhioladh. 

Nam b' ann an sabaid na 'n carraid, 
Chaidh do ghearradh cho luath bhuainn, 
'S lionar bratach bhiodh sgaoilte, 
Agus faobhar 'g am fuasgladh ; 

Bhiodh Mac Shimidh na h-Aird ann, 
'S Cloinn Chamarain a' chruadail, 
Mar ri Toisich is Granndaich, 
Mu 'm biodh annran na gruaim ort. 

Do chinneadh fein Clanna Mhuirich, 
Bhiodh iad uile gu d' 6rdugh, 
Fearail, treun, ascaoin, fuileach 
Sud na curaidh' nach s6radh ; 
'Dol ri aodainn a' chatha, 
Claidh' leathann 'nan dorn-san, 
Ann an aobhar mac d' athar 
'S iad gun athadh gun soradh. 

170 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'Nuair sgaoiieadh tu d' bhratach, 

Dh' eireadh feachd an Taoibh-tu-ath leat, 

Tha e soilleir ri fhaicinn, 

Chite cat ann 'na gruaig-se ; 

Dh' eireadh leat-sa buaidh-larach, 

'Nuair bhiodh each air an ruageadh ; 

Fath mo mhulaid ri aithris, 

Thu bhi 'n drasda fo 'n fhuar lie. 

Dh' eireadh sud ann do tHTonal, 
Mile fear agus piobair, 
'Dol fo smachd do chrois-tara, 
'Nuair bhiodh d' ardan a direadh. 
Sud na curaidh gun sgath, 
'Nam gabhdair' 'ga dhioladh 
Dh' fhagadh cuirp air an laraich 
Fuil 'fasgadh 's i Violadh. 

Marcaich treun nan each uaibhreach I 

Ann an cruadal na 'n gabhdair, 

An geall-ruith na leum 

Bu leat fein am buaidh-larach. 

'S math thig ad agus cleoc dhuit, 

Mar ri botan 's spuir airgid ; 

Bu lein'-chrios do Righ Deors' thu, 

'Na am comhdach' nam fear-ghleus. 

Righ ! bu mhath thig dhuit seasamh. 

An lathair seisean na binne, 

A' chumail a' cheartais, 

'S a' chur as do luchd mhi-ruin. 

Bu cho chinnte l<mm d' fhacal, 

'S ged a ghlaiste le h-mk e, 

Learn is cinnte do dhachaidh, 

Ann am Flathais na ftrinn. 

Tha do bhaile gun smuid de 
E gun sunnd gun cheol-gaire, 
Tha na dorsan ann duinte, 
Cha n-eil suird ann mar b' abhaist ; 
'S bochd learn gaoir do chuid tuath', 
Mar threud fuadan am fasach, 
Co bith fear ni am bualadh, 
Co a thuainigeas cas dhaibh. 

Badenoch Songs. 171 

Bha 'fhasan dha d' theaghlach, 
'Bhi gu graoiueachail pairteach, 
Uasal, cinneadail. caoimhneil, 
Mor-sgoinn do luchd danachd : 
Ceir a' lasadh an coinnleirean, 
'S fhaide oidhch' aig do cheatharnaich, 
'S iad 'g 61 air fion daithte, 
As na casgaichean dear-Ian. 

Gheibhte sud ann do chlobhs', 
Fonn piob' agus clarsaich, 
Mac-talla 'g am freagairt, 
Fuaim f head an gun aireamh. 
'Nuair sgaoileadh tu d' bhratach, 
Chite cat ann gu h-arda ; 
'S 'n uair a dh' fhaicte a mach i, 
Gum bu leats' am buaidh-larach. 

Cha teid mise gu coinneamh, 
L& Nolluig na Samhna, 
'S cha teid mi measg cuideachd, 
'S ann a shuidheas mi 'n aon aite. 
Bho nach tigeadh an Tighearn, 
J S e bhi rithisd na shlainte : 
Cha bhiodh feum air an lighich, 
'S bhiodh sinn dithis dhe sabhailt'. 

Cha b' e crionach na coille, 
Bha 'san doire 'san d' fhas thu, 
Ach na gallanan priseil, 
'Fhuair direadh gu 'n ailgheas. 
Mur gearrt' iad, cha sniomht' iad, 
Gus an spionta gu lar iad : 
Craobh de 'n chuilionn nach crionadh, 
'S ioma freumh bha gu 'n arach. 

An Tigh Chluainidh nam bratach, 
Bithidh gach aiteal mar b' abhaist, 
Tha a' ghrian oirnn a' soillseadh, 
,'S tha an t-oighre an lathair. 
Oighre dligheach an fhearainn, 
Tha 'na leanabh an drasda. 
Saoghal buan an deagh bheatha, 
An ait' d' athar, gu brath duit ! 

172 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Mr John Macdonald, the well-known tacksman of Garvamore' 
Iain Ban a' Gharbha died in 1830, and has been com- 
memorated in more than one elegy. That hereinafter set forth 
was composed by his old and fast friend, Captain Macpherson, 
Biallid. Both these tacksmen were esteemed in their day as 
among the best of countrymen ; and it is pleasant to observe that 
their descendants are represented in jjie county, in the persons of 
Mr and Mrs Macpherson of Corriemony. For these verses I am 
indebted to my excellent friend, the late Father Coll, Fort- 
Augustus : 

A High ! gur diomain an saoghal, 

'S ioma mealladh a 's faoineis a th' ami ; 

Mar ueul 's e 'caocliladh, 

Theid fhuadach 's a sgaoileadh na dheann. 

Mar cheathach an aonaich, 

Air a sgapadh le gaoith bharr nam beann, 

'S ionann sin a 's clann-daoine, 

Gun fhios thig an t-aog aig gach am. 

Fhuair mi sgeula, 's bu shearh e, 

Chaidh mo leirsinn gu h-anmhimnachd le bron, 

Gun <T eug Fear a' Gharbha, 

Mo chreach-leir tha e dearbhta gu leoir. 

Ach ma chaidh thu air falbh uainn, 

Ged a shiubhlainn leth Alb' agus corr ; 

Cha-n fhaic mi 'n coimieainh no 'n armailt, 

Fear do bheusan, do dhealbh, a 's do neoil. 

Dhomhsa b' aithne do bheusan, 

Bha thu ciuin mar ghath greine tre che6 ; 

Bha thu ascaoin na 'm b' fheudar, 

'S ann a' d aodann a dh' eireadh an colg. 

'S tu chaisgeadh an eucoir, 

'S a sheasadh gu treun leis a' choir ; 

A 's cha ghabhadh tu deis-laimh, 

Bho fhear a thug ceum ann am br6ig. 


Bu tu deadh fhear-an-tighe, 
J S ann a bhitheadh an caitheamh mu d' bhord ; 
Bu tu poitear na dibhe, 
'N uair a tharladh dhuit suidhe 's tigh-osd'. 

Baden och Songs. 173- 

Bha thu fialaidh 's bu dligheach, 

Bha thu 'shiolach nan cridheachan mor ; 

A' d' cheann-riaghailt air buidheann, 

'S ami bha 'chiall ann am bruidhinn do bhe6il. 

Bu tu sealgair a' mbonaidh, 

'S ro mhaith dhireadh tu mullach nan sron ; 

Le do chuilbheir 's maith ctimadh, 

'S trie a leag thu air uilinn fear-croic'. 

'S an am dol air thurus, 

B' e do mhiann paidhir chuileanaii borb ; 

Bu tu an t-iasgair air buinne, 

Le do mhorbha geur guineach a' d' dhorn. 

Faodaidh 'n eilid 's'an ruadh-bhoc, 

'S an damh mullaich,. bhi uallach 's an fhrith, 

Tha 'm bradan tarra-gheal a' cluaineis, 

Feadh shruthaibh a 's chuartaig gun ggios. 

Tha do mhial-choin a' bruadar 

Bhi 's a' gharbhlaich a' ruagadh an fheidh, 

Tha na h-armaibh fo ruadh-mheirg, 

'S lamh gu 'n dearbhadh 's an uaigh o cheann tim. 

'S ann bha 'n aoidh ann a'd aodann, 

; S trie a rinn thu rium faoilte, 'fhir mhoir ! 

'S trie a ghlac thu air laimh mi, 

'S bhiodh d' fhuran a 's d' fhailte 'ua lorg. 

'S trie a ruisg mi mo bheachd riut, 

'N uair bhiodh smuairean no airtneal 'gam leon, 

'S chuireadh sugradh do chnacais, 

Air chul gach aon acaid bhiodh orm. 

Gura cruaidh learn do chlann, 

'Bhi fo mhulad, fo champar, 's fo bhron ; 

Dh' fhalbh an taice 's iad fann de, 

'n chaireadh do cheann-sa fo 'n fh6id. 

Nam biodh eiridh 's a' Cheapaieh, 

'S gu'n eighteadh na gaisgich fo 'n t-srol, 

Gu'n robh leus air a' bhrataich, 

Fear cho treun 's a bha ac' bhi fo 'm fh6id. 

Ach 's e tha mi ag acain, 

Thu bhi nis anns an Lagan a' tamh, 

Air do dhuineadh fo leacan, 

'S nach didsg thu 's a' mhaduinn bho d' phramh. 

174 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S e mo dhiubhail mar thachair, 

Thu bin 's an iiir an tasgaidh a' cnarnh ; 

Fhir n.o ruin a bha smachdail, 

Nach do chuir culaobh ri caraid no namh. 


This is an ode in celebration of James Stewart, who resided at 
Ruthven, and appears to have been baron -bailie for the Duke of 
Gordon, about the year 17GO. We l^S-rn that, like many another 
popular Highland gentleman, he fell into financial difficulties, and 
had gone abroad. Giorsal \vas his sister. The author of this ode 
is said to have been Duncan Mackay, Ardbroilach Dunnach 
Gobha whose elegy on the " Loss of Gaick" brought him into 

Beir mo shoraidh so bhuam, 

Gum beil doran is gruaiin orm fein, 

Tre mo dhiochain 's gach uair, 

Air an iarla ghlan, uasal, reidh ; 

Dha 'm beil onoir mo chleoc, 

'S e gun sgarrn, gun bhosd, gun bhreig, 

Kis an earbainn mo chluain, 

Ged bhiodh ceannsgalach sluaigh mu 'sgeith. 

An tigh geal 'sam biodh 'n fhuaim, 

'S na clair mhear air am buailt an teud, 

Le ceol farumach, cruaidh 

Na meoir gheal a bu luaith' 's a chleir ; 

Air an tarruing bho d' chluais, 

Mhic na maise ! mo thruaigh an te, 

Ghabhas beachd air do shnuadh, 

'S nach fhaigh dhachaidh thu buan dhi fein. 

'Bharr air maise gun uaill, 

Gabh do chleachdainnibh suairce, fein, 

Sar-bhall seirc an dith gruaidh ! 

'S tearc ri fhaicinn do luach air feill. 

Tha ctil buidh' ort mar or, 

Air an suidhich bean-og a speis, 

Taobh do chleamhnan air choir, 

'S gheibh thu airgiod is or gun deidh. 

'S beag an t-ioghna learn or, 

A bhi sinte ri moisean ceil, 

Aig an sinnsir bu chdir, 

'Bhi 'g 61 fion air a' bhord mu 'cheir. 

Badenoch Songs- 175 

Full an High 's Mhic-an-Toisich 
Air an linigeadh be6 'n ad chre ; 
'S tha thu dileas do 'n t-seors' 
Cho glan Violadh, 's tha 'm feoil fo 'n ghrein. 

'S nam faigheadh Giorsal bho 'n stol, 

Fear a lionadh a cleoc 's gach ceum, 

Bu sgiath e air mod, 

Chuireadh srian ann an sron luchd-beud ; 

Fear a thogadh a sunnd 

Mar iiach lionar na duthaich fein 

A lioiiadh a suil 

'S fear a mile dha 'n lub a' gheug. 

'S fhir mu 'n ionndraich mi 'n tus ! 

'S leathan, lionar, do chul ri feum, 

'S truagh gun rian air do chul, 

'S d' airgiod deant' aig an Diuc gun fheum : 

Ruathainn sgriobhta bho 'ghrunnd, 

Tighinn gu cis gu d' dhuthaich fein ; 

Agus Righ oirnn as ur, 

'S bhiodh gach ni Sheumais Stiubhairt reidh. 


This elegy is said to have been composed upon a member of 
the Balnespick family, who was lost at sea. Dunnach Gobha is 
understood to have been the author. 

J S mor pudhar na gaoithe, 
Fad an t-saoghail gu leir, 
'Ghaoth thainig Di-h-aoine, 
'S i chaochail mo sgeul ; 
Dh' fhag i aobhar nan ochan, 
Aig luchd nam portaibh gu leir, 
Air fad Eurann is Bhreatunn 
Bha 'n eigh-creach 'ga sheinn. 

Ach aon duin' tha mi 'gearain, 

Dhe na chaillear 's a chuan, 

Cha bhiodh mo chlann-sa gun charaid, 

Nam bu mhairinn e buan. 

Ach a' Righ Mhoir nan aingeal ! 

Glac an anam-sa suas ; 

Na leig orm do ainiochd, 

Bi gu trocaireach, tairis ri d' shluagh. 

176 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ubh ! ubh ! a dhaoine ! 

Nach aobhar smuaineach' is br6in ; 

An ti a dh' fhalbh bhtiainn Di-h-aome, 

Sughail, aotrom gu leoir ; 

A' bhi 'n innis nani faochag, 

'S nach faodar dhe 'choir ; 

'S ioma ni tha 'cur aois oirnn, 

'S ioiiia caochladh 'tighinn oirnn. 

Tha do bhraithrean 's do phiuthar, 

Trom, dubhach, fo bhron, 

'S iad a chaoidh 'ga do chumhadh, 

'S cha bhi iad subhach ri 'm beo. 

Tha do chinncadh mor, laidir, 

Trom craiteach gach 16, 

Bho 'n a chual' iad gu 'n d' bhait' thu, 

An cuan barcach nan seol. 

Ach 's truagh nach miso bha laimh riut, 

Mu 'n do sgain i fo bhord ; 

'S nan robh tir faisg air laimh oirnn, 

Dheanainn d' shabhaladh beo. 

Tha do chinneadh gu h-iomlan, 

Fo imcheist, Ian broin, 

Mu do bhi amis an luma-dheirg, 

Measg uile-bhiast is ron. 

Dh' fhalbh lob le chuid mhacaibh, 

Le 'uile bheartas is ni, 

'S rinn e aodach a shracadh, 

'S spion e 'm fait bharr a chinn ; 

Laidh e sios air an oidhch', 

'S thubhairt e, " 'S coisrigt' an Ti, 

A thug dhomh gach ni taitneach, 

'S ghabh air aia bhuam e ris." 

Thug e treis ami am bochdainn, 
'Na chulaidh-fhochaid 's an tir, 
Gun neach 'threoraicheadh 'fhocal, 
Na bheireadh deoch dha 's e tinn ; 
Ach as sin fhuair e urram, 
Bho gach duine dhiubh ris, 
'S chinn e 'n storas gun chumadh, 
'S fhuair e oighribh, urram, is miadh. 

Baden och Songs. 177 


This elegy was composed by the late Mr Donald Macrae, 
banker and writer, Kingussie, upon his wife, Christina Stewart, 
who died within a year of their marriage. 

Cha n' eil dhe na bhliadhna, 
Deich miosan air falbh, 
Bho fhuair mi coir air mo leannain, 
'S bha i ceanalta' an dealbh. 
Thug mise mo ghaol dhi, 
'S bha i aonda gun chearb ; 
Bha i siobhalta, suairce, 
'S cha chualas a fearg. 

Cha robh ann mo run-sa 
Aon smuain 's an robh giamh ; 
Cha robh ann do chridhe 
Aon sireadh nach b' fhiach. 
Bha d' inntinn cho saor dhomh, 
'S bha i 'taomadh le ciall ; 
Bu tu caraid an fheumnaich, 
Cha do threig thu e riamh. 

'S beag mo shunnd ri thighinn dhachaidh, 

'S cha ; n eil mo thlachd 's an tigh-osd' ; 

Ged a theid mi air astar, 

Cha 'n eil taitneas ann dhomhs'. 

Cha 'n fhaigh mi toil-inn tinn, 

Ged a chruinnicheadh mo stor ; 

Cha n' eil ann 's an t-saoghal, 

Ach faoineas is sgleo. 

A' cheud la chunnaic mi 'n tus thu, 
Thug mi run dhuit gun dail, 
Dh' aithnich mise le firinn, 
Nach robh sith dhomh gu brath. 
Mur fhaighinn coir air a' mhaighdein, 
Nach robh m' aoibhneas aig each ; 
Fhuair thu 'n t-urram, 's tu thoill e, 
Bha do shoillse gun smal. 

Bu bhoidheach rugha do ghruaidhean, 
'S ann bha 'n t-suairce 'n ad ghnuis, 
B' ainneamh samhladh do bhilean, 
Du' ghorm, cridheil, do shuil ; 


178 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mala chaol air deadh chumadh, 
A' cumail oirr' dian ; 
Slios mar chanach 's a' Cheitein, 
'Fas leis fhein air an t-sliabh. 

'S mi 'nam shineadh air m' uilinn, 
Fo mhulad 's fo bbron, 
Tha mo shuilean gun sireadh, 
A' sileadh nan deoir. ^ 
Cha 'n fhaic mi mar b' abhaist, 
Mo ghradh tighinn 'am choir ; 
B' eibhinn, aighearach, dileas, 
A Christina ! do phog. 

C' ait' an robh ann 's an duthaich, 
A thigeadh dluth air mo run 1 
Ann am buaidhean 's an giulan, 
Fhuair thu cliu bho gach aon. 
Ard-mheangan a' lubadh 
Le meas ur air gach taobh, 
'S fuil rioghail nan Stiubhart, 
'Kuith an duthchas 's a' chraoibh. 

Ged a theid rni do 'n leabaidh, 
Cha n'eil mo chadal ann buan ; 
Fad na h-oidhche gu maduinn, 
Tha do chagar 'nam chluais. 
Bidh mi bronach a' dusgadh, 
'S e mo dhiubhail ri luaidh ; 
Nach cluinn mi do ghaire, 
Mar a b' abhaist, gun ghruaim. 

Cha 'n ioghnadh mar tha mi, 

Chaidh mo ghradh chuir fo 'n fh6id ; 

Mus gann a fhuair mi air laimh i, 

Rinn i m' fhagail fo leon. 

Ach ged 'dhealaich am bas sinn, 

Tha ar Slanuighear beo ; 

'S tha mi 'n duil ann an am math, 

Gu'n cuir thu failt orm 'an gloir. 


A poor crofter in these verses gives an affecting little picture 
of domestic sorrow. 

Badenoch Songs. 179 

Naile ! 's mise tha gun aighear, 
Fo mhi-ghean a dh' oidhch' '5. a latha, 
Gun toil-inntinn 'tha fo'n adhar, 
Bho chuir iad 's an uir mo dheadh bhean-tighe. 

E ! ho ! mo dhiubhail fo'n fhod, 
Fo ruighe nam bord, 
Ho ! gur mis' tha gun aighear fo leon, 
Mu do dheidhinn. 

Naile ! 's mise tha fo mhi-ghean, 
Gar 'n diun mi 'chach 'innseadh, 
Mi bhi 'cuimhnach' ort, a mhmeag ! 
'S thu bhi do laidhe 'n Clachan na sgireachd. 

Naile ! 's mise tha gun aiteas, 
'S mi bhi 'thamh an so an Clachaig, 
Bho nach tigeadh thusa dhachaidh, 
A shealltuinn air do phaisdean laga. 

Bha da ghruaidh dhearg ort mar an siris, 
Beul is binne bho'n tigeadh iorram, 
Cul do chinn air dhreach an fhithich, 
Is gun d' thug mi dhuit run mo chridhe. 

Phos mi thu le deoin gun aindeoin, 
Gun toil ath'r, no math'r, no caraid, 
Rug thu dhomhs' do sheachdnar macan, 
: S do nighean 6g 's cha d' fhaod thu 'h-altrum. 


I do not think any words of mine are necessary to make this 
waggish lilt as intelligible as it was intended to be. 

Goirtean nam Broighleag ! 
Sgiot e mo theaghlach, 
Chuir e mo choirmeamh, 

B' fhaide na 'm iul. 
Dh' fhalbh an damh ban, 
'S dh' flralbh an damh riobhach ; 
Dh' falbh iad uile, 
Bho 'n theirig am biadh dhaibh. 
Goirtean na dunaich ! 
Dar chunnaic mi riamh e, 
Goirtean nam Broighleag, 

Thachair e rium. 

180 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Goirtean nam Broighleag ! 
Agus Fear Eadarais, 

Thachair iad riurn, 
'S gun thachair mo sheic rium. 
Dh' fhalbh an t-each ban 
'Dhianadh an uir dhomh ; 
Mairi a baile, 
'S e dhianadh a giulan. 
Goirtean na dunaich ! *fec. 


The above remark surely applies to this case. 

De ni mi gun leine ghlain, 

Guu leine ghlain, gun leine ghlain ; 

De ni mi gun leine ghlain, 

'S mi dol as a' bhaile maireach. 

Tha tigh agam, tha bean agam, 
'S am burn aig ceann an tigh agam, 
Tha punnd do shiabunn geal agam, 
Is leine shalach ghrad' orm. 

'Nuair thug mi dhi gu nigheadh i, 
'S ami thoisich i ri bruidhinn rium ; 
'S an uair a fhuair mi rithist i, 
Bu mhios' i na mar bha i. 


The rats and mice which infested Highland homesteads were- 
supposed to be particularly susceptible to bardic satire. That is 
to say, they could not endure it. The most audacious and 
persistent mouse quailed under a sarcastic rhyme, and hurriedly 
made tracks for pastures new. The playful effusion here given 
contains nothing very scathing. In my note book it is entitled 
Aoireadh, le Alasdair Catanach, an Saor Ruadh, anns a' Chreagan, 
'n uair bha e fuadach nan luch bho sabhal Bhiallaid. While 
banishing the unwelcome tribe to Drumuachdar, he condescends 
to wheedle them with promises of luxuries there in store ! 

Ma ghabhas sibh mo comhairl', luchan ! 

Tmisidh sibh oirbh 's bidh sibd falbh. 
Ma theid mise 'ga n-ur aoireadh, 

Cha bhi aon agaibh gun chearb. 

Badenoch Songs. 181 

-Cha'n 'eil cat eadar Ruathainn, 

'S braigh Chluainidh nach bi sealg. 
'S aim an sabhal Sandy Ban, 

Ghearr sibh an snath as a' bhalg. 

'N sin dar thubhairt an Inch mhor 's a 'freagairt, 

' Stad beag ort, a shaoidh oig, 
'S eagal learn gun gabh thu miotblachd, 

Rinn mi di-chuimbn' ann am fhrog. 
'S peacach dhuit mo chuir a balla, 

'S cur is cathadh ri mo shroin ; 
'S mi gun fhios a'm ceana theid mi 

'S ioma beum a gheibh mo sheors." 

Innsidh mis' dbuit ceana theid sibh, 

'S ioma gleus tha air a' bhord. 
Ruigibh am fear mor 'san Spideal, 

'S gheibh sibh liocair ann gu leor. 
Ithibh 's olaibh n-ur teannath, 

Ged a ghearradh sibh 'chuid bhr6g ; 
Dhiult e dhomh oidhch' mo dhinneir, 

Ged a phaidhinn gini oir. 

Gabhaidh sibh 'n rathad air n-ur athais, 

Bidh sibh 'n ath 6idhch' an Gleann-Truim, 
Tur ruigidh sibh clobhs' Dail-Choinmmh, 

'S ann an sud bhios an cruinneachadh grinn. 
'H-uile te le dronnag-eallaich, 

An deidh dealachdainn rium fhin ; 
'Dol a' shealltuinn an fhir ghallda, 

'Chuir cuid Ailein gu dith. 


The Saor Ruadh once upon a time having got the loan of a 
horse from Lachlan Mackenzie, am post ban a far-seeing man 
who refused to accompany the Black Officer to Gaick on the plea 
of illness after bringing home a heavy load of deals with the 
help of the good grey gearraii, thus expressed his approbation of 
that plucky creature's exertions on his behalf. 

Eich ghuirm bha 'n Allt-lairidh, 
'S ioma ait eile bharr air, 
Gur fheairde mis' an lad, 

Thug thu 'n airde dhomh gun chunntadh. 

182 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

! theid mi dhacbaidh leat, 

'S bu bheud sud mur tachradh e, 

A' shealltninn air Lachlatm, 

A mhic a' chapuill ahunndaich ! 

Ged chuirinn ceithir dusan ort, 

Na 'n cairinn iad 's gun trusainn iad 

Gun siubhladh tu gu h-uchdarach, 

'S an cuip cha bhiodh ty, 'g ionndrain, 

Gur mise bhios bronach, 

'Nuair chluinneas mi nach beo thu, 

Cha toir mi 'choin na Sroin' thu, 

Theid cisd nam bord mu 'm chursan. 

Ged thubhairt am Post Ban riut 
Bho 'n 's e ainm a thuigeas each e : 
De Clanna Choinnich tha thu, 

'S bi Salaich ort a' cunntadh. 

A crapulous age has left its traces in Gaelic poetry as else- 
where. But it was long before the bards would condescend to 
mention in their verses any less gentlemanly potion than the red 
wine of France. It is now perhaps impossible to discover when it 
was that whisky fairly ousted wine and ale from popular favour in 
the Highlands. We know that smuggling i.e., illicit distillation 
became general among tacksmen, crofters, and cottars. The 
bothie was a mystic shrine of Bacchus the "black pot" his 
symbol. The vessels, great and small, from the cask to the glass, 
utilised in connection with the exhilarating nectar, were each 
regarded as a sort of fetish. In this ditty, the poit-dubh is 
addressed as a bride. The scene is in the neighbourhood of 
Garvamore. We are afforded a peep at the "still" in full 
operation. The btream of cold water flows freely over the pipes, 
and the assembled company watch the proceedings, not without 
shadowy thoughts of Nemesis, in the person of the Exciseman 
am Belleach. 

Bean na bainnse, h6 ! h\ ! 

Hathaill u ! hathaill 6 ! 
'S i bean og a' chuil duinn, 

Bidh na suinu leat ag 61. 

Baden och Songs. 183- 

Tha 'bhean-6g arm an cuil, 

Faile cubhraidh bho 'str6n. 
Chan 'eil gaidsear fo 'n chrun, 

Nach bi dluth air a t6ir. 

Thig am Belleaoh mu 'n cuairt, 
Gheibh e 'm bruaich a' bhean 6g ; 

Bheir e 'n collar dhi 's a chuairt, 
Falbhaidh buannachd an st6ip. 

Nam faiceadh sibh-s' Iain Ban, 

Botul Ian ann a dhorn, 
Chan 'eil fear thig mu 'n cuairt, 

Nach fhaigh cuach thar a' chbir. 

Tha 'bhean-6g air a' chuan, 

Sruth mu 'guaillean gu leoir, 
Chan 'eil gaidsear fo 'n chrun, 

Nach bi null air a t6ir. 

Ge m6r agaibhs' an tea, 

B' ait learn fhin a' bhi 'g 61 
Glain do 'n gharbh-ghucaig mhin, 

Thogadh m' inntinn bho bhr6n. 

Fear a' Gharbha so shuas, 
Chuir air chuan a' bhean 6g. 


A busy miller plying his work, upstairs and downstairs and 
out and in, may be heard grumbling and humming throughout 
these strains, wherein one seems to hear, too, the noise of the 
clapper, the pour of the water, and the creaking of the old 

H6r6 ro ! is hiri mobha ! 

H6r6 no ! is hiri mugh ! &c. 

Tha 'ghaoth mh6r air an uinneig, 

Learn is coma co dhiubh, 
Ged a bheireadh i leatha, 

Gruid loibheach dhubh nach fiu. 

Eadar chais' agus acfhuinn, 

Eadar amar agus burn, 
Eadar draghaid agus claban, 

Agus chlachan agus chlud. 

184 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Ach na 'n tigeadh an Samhradh. 

Gu 'n rachainn-sa air m' iul, 
Do thalamh Mhic-Dhomhnuill, 

Gheall e dhomh-sa muileann ur, 

Far am faighte na mnathau, 
Air a' bhraigheann gu dluth, 

Far am faight' am bonnach-gradain, 
'S im an taice ri 'tha<flbh. 


This animated duologue took place between two worthies of 
the Clan Mhuiricb. It is only necessary to add that the Mr Blair 
mentioned was minister of Kingussie for the greater part of last 

H6 ! Calum Figheadair, 

Le 'leannanan 's le 'nigheanan, 
H6 ! Calum Figheadair, 
Tha mi-altradh an dan da. 

" Dh' fhighinn-se mar dh' fhuaghaila' tu," 

Thubhairt Calum Figheadair ; 
"Dh' fhuaghailinn-se mar dh' fhigheadh tu," 

Thubhairt Calum Tailear. 

' 'S mise Calum 'B fhearr tha ann," 

Thubhairt Calum Figheadair ; 
" Tha thu briagach anns a cheann," 

Thubhairt Calum Tailear. 

" Gheibh mi bean bho Mr Blair," 

Thubhairt Calum Figheadair : 
" 'N i chaileag air am beil an spag V k 

Thubhairt Calum Tailear. 

" 'S ioma Calum tha sinn ann," 

Thubhairt Calum Figheadair ; 
" Calum dubh is Calum cam." 

Thubhairt Calum Tailear. 


Miss Barbara Macpherson of Ralia, a witty spinster of good 
family, composed this jeu d 1 esprit when fulling a certain web of 
cloth, about the beginning of the century. I took it down from 
one who had been in the service of the merry old lady. 

Badenoch Songs. 185 

Mo chlolan dubh, a thaobh ! a hu ! 
Chan 'eil e tiugh 's tha fallus air. 

Mo chlolan dubh, a thaobh ! a ho. 

'N uair bhioe mo chlolan fighte, luaidhte, 
Gheibh Fear Chluainidh falluinn dhe. 

Tha fear-taca Ghasga-mh6ir, 
An ro-gheall air earvan dhe. 

Bheir sinn cot' dha Caiptean Clare dhe, 
Bho 'n tha gradh nan caileag dha. 

Bheir sinn deis' dha Caiptean Bhiallaid, 
Ged bhiodh sianar falamh dhe. 

'S bheir mi c6t' dha Robaidh Bhiallaid, 
'G a fhiachainn anns a' Ghearrasdan. 

Chuirinn earrann thar a' chuan, 
Gu daoin'-uails' a dhealaich ruinn. 

Bheir sinn briogais dha na Ghreumach, 
A righ fein ! gum meal e i. 

Ach cha teid snathainn gu Noid-mhoir dhe, 
Gus an geall e banais dhuinn. 

Fear an Lagain, 's duine coir e, 
Ach gabh-s' an clo ni Ealsaid. 

Tha daoine-uailse an Dun-Eidinn, 
Bhios dheigh-laimh ma dh' fhanas iad. 


This pathetic fragment is part of an elegy by Captain Andrew 
Macpherson of Ralia, upon the death of a comrade and Ms brother, 
who belonged to the old Breakachy family figuring in the history 
of the '45. Captain Andrew and Miss Barbara, his sister, were of 
the later Breakachy family, styled in their time as of Ralia. 

Righ ! gur mor mo chuis mhulaid, 

Gar n-urra mi 'luaidh, 

Mu Eoghann 's mu dh-Iain, 

Da chridhe gun ghruaim. 

'S trie a bheum do lamh teine, 

Taobh Loch Eireachd so shuas, 

Leis a' ghunna nach diultadh, 

'S leis an fhudar chaol, chruaidh. 

186 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Gur e 'm fear a tha 'cainnt ort, 
Caiptean Aindrea 'n Ra'-Leith. 


Alasdair Ban Macdouald, piper and carpenter, who resided at 
Lagganlia, in the parish of Alvie, was the author of this spirited 
hunting song. One acquainted with Braemar could no doubt 
identify the places mentioned. ^ 

Och ! is ( ch ! mar tha mi, 

'S mi 'bhi 'm aonar 'siubhal fasaich, 

'S gur e nabuidh a chleachd mi. 
'Siubhal gach stuc is cul gaoh cnocain, 
Clais gach allt is gleann 'gam beachdach', 

Gus an d' fhas mi diubh seachd sglth. 

Mach Coire Ghunntail is stigh na Glaiseachan, 
'S Creag Phadruig, cha b' i b' fhasa, 

Mu 'n deach mi crosgach air a druim, 
Air a culaobh thachair mi 's na seoid ud, 
'S iad ag ionaltradh aii a' mhointeich, 
J S le ceart de6in chaidh mi 'nan comhdhail, 

Ach an comhnaidh dol fo thuim. 

Thug mi 'ghruagach mach a fasgadh, 

Stiuir mi i ri lagan m' achlais', 

'S cha dubhairt mi rithe ach aon fhacal, 

Dar chaidh an casan fos an ceann. 
Laidh na combaich an sin c6mhlath, 
Gun aon agam 'ga mo chomhnadh. 
Bu mhor mo ionntrainnse air Domhnull 
'Chleachd bhi comhlath rium 'sa bheinn. 

Thug mi as cho fad 'sa dh' fheudainn, 
Leig mi 'n da chuid 'n fhuil 's an gaorr asd', 
Dh' fhalaich mi fo bhruaich dhubh fhraoich iad, 

'S chaidh mi caol gu Tigh an Tuim. 
Sheoi mi ciod bha 'n lub mo bhreacain, 
'S mi gle fheumach air mo neartach,' 
'S mi gun aon dheanadh rium cnacas, 

B' fhad gu feasgair 's mi learn fhin. 

Air dha 'bhi cromadh gu an anmoch, 
Chaidh mi 'shealltuinn air m' chuid ainmhidhean, 
Ceithir eallaichean nach robh aotrom, 
'S bha mo chaol-drom' goirt nan deidh, 

Badenoch Songs. 187 

Ach ged tha 'chuis so draghail an drasda, 
Bi'dh e feumail dha na paisdean, 
Ni e annlann dha 'n bhuntata, 

'S mir na spaig dha 'n bhean 's dhomh fhin. 

Ach nis bho'n fhuair mi dhachaidh sabhailt, 
Leis na h-eallachan rinn mo sharach', 
Ged tha 'n croicionn dhiom 'na shailean, 
Olaidh mi deoch-slaint' na frith. 


In strains of this sort one feels wa'ted into a region misty, 
mystic, and uncanny. 

Tha 'chailleach 's i bodhar, 

Tha 'm bodach ; s e cam ; 
Cha leir dhaibh an crodh odhar, 

Le ceothach nam beann. 


The same remark applies to this wild note of warning. Both 
these verses, like many others of a similar character, are sung to 
the air known as, " Chrodh Chailein." 

Nach duisg thu, nach duisg thu, 

Nach duisg thu, 'fhir ruaidh ! 
'S an fhoill air do chul-thaobh, 

'Nach duisg thu, 'fhir ruaidh ! 


This verse is connected with an ancient tale of mortal danger 
and escape in a lonely inn. It used oftentimes to make one's flesh 

He ! am beil thu 'd chadal idir ? 

He ! am beil thu 'd chadal trorn ? 
Laimhsich 's tigh fo do leabaidh, 

Gheibh thu 'n gairdean rag 'se trom. 


The lochs mentioned here are in the Forest of Gaick that 
haunt of horrors. The verse was sung by a fortunate hunter as 
he leaped on the back of an honest stallion, and thus made his- 
escape from sirens ! 

188 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Tha gaoth mhor air Loch-an-t-Seilich, 

Tha gaoth eil' air Loch-an-Duin ; 
Ruigidh mise Loch-a-Bhrodainn, 

Mu 'n teid cadal air mo shuil. 


This doleful ditty was sung by a maiden all forlorn. She had 
been 'cruelly deserted by her lover, jyho, by the way, knew no 
Gaelic, and yet married a fair one with scarely a word of English. 
These verses afford a good specimen of the colloquial Gaelic of 
Badenoch. The poor authoress died shortly after singing her 
song of grief. 

! gur mise tha air glasadh, 
Is air snaidheadh fo m' fheoil, 
Mu 'n oganach chuil dumn. 
Dha 'm beil rim uam ban 6g. 

An diugh chaidh thu chum na feille, 
'S each gu leir gu'n deach iad ami ; 
'S dh' fhag thu mise aig a' bhaile, 
Mur nach biodh ru' fhear-farraid ann. 

Ach bha na gillean eil' rium caoimhneil, 
Agus rinn iad 'fharraid rium, 
" Am beil thu dol chum na feille," 
No, " 'n diugh fhein ciod e do shunnd." 

'Dearbh cha'n 'eil mi dol chum na feille, 
Och ! cha teid, ciod e ni mi ann, 
'S ann tha m' fheill-sa a's mo chlachan, 
Air an leabaidh so 'thamh. 

Ged is trie tha mi air mo leabaidh, 
Cha'n e bho ro-ghoirteas mo chinn, 
Ach 'mheud 's a thug mi gaol dha 'n 6igear, 
Nach d' thug dhomh-sa gaol 'ga chionn. 

! gur g6rach mi thug gaol duit, 

An rud a dh' fhaodainn bhi dhe dhith, 

Ach thu bhi ro bhoidheach 's mi bhi ro ghorach, 

'S cha robh do chomhradh 'n sin orm a dhlth. 

O ! gu'n chuir thu mi bho obair, 

A ghaoil, gu-n chuir thu mi bho 'n ghniomh, 

! gu-n chuir thu mi bho 'n chadal, 

J S chuir thu baileach mi bho 'n bhiadh. 

Badenoch Songs. 189 

! gur mise chaill bhi cridheil, 

! gur inise chaill a' phr6is, 

'S ami a ghoid thu bhuam mo chridhe, 

Is cha'n urra 'mi inns' rno dhoigh. 

'N uair a thigea' tu 'stigh 'na chitsin, 
Bhiodh tu cridheil am measg chach, 
Rium cha deana' tu guth no comhradh, 
Ged bheireadh e beo mi bho na bhas. 

'N uair a thigea' tu seach an uinneag, 
Bhiodh mo chridh'-sa air a Ie6n, 
'N uair a chithinn do chul donn dualacb, 
'S ann is truagh gu-m beil mi be6. 

Tha Iain 'ga mo iarraidh, 
Bho cheann bliadhna no dha, 
Ach mur fhaigh mi fhin Sebrus, 
! cha ph6s mi fear eil' gu brach. 

'S ann Di-D6mhnuich dol 'na chlachan, 
Ghabh mi beachd air gach fear bha ann, 
Fear a bh6idhchead cha'n fhaicinn, 
Ged is ioma giir 6g a bh' aim. 

! cha'n fhaic mi is cha leir dhomh, 
Fo na ghrein ghil ach thu, 
'S ged bu learn na tri rioghachdan, 
Bheirinn saor iad na 'm faighinn thu. 

'S ann a thoisich each ri radh, 
Gur e do ghradh a thug dhomh laidh' sios ; 
Do phog le failte cha dean bonn-sta dhomh, 
Ach mar ni J n t-slainte dha 'n duine thinn. 

Ach is coma learn dha sin, 

Ciod e their each air mo chul, 

Ach mur fhaigh mi-fhin thu, 'Sheorais ! 

Ni mi bron gu dhol chum h-uir. 


Very different was the mood of the high-spirited damsel who 
composed this song. It is evident that she had been deeply 
infected with the martial enthusiasm which was rampant in 
Badenoch about the time a certain illustrious regiment was 

190 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Tha Nollaig a' tighinn, 

'S cha 'n 'eil mi cridheil gu ce61, 

Cha 'n eisd mi ceol fid hie, 

No ni 's am bi spors. 

Cha 'n eisd mi ceol fidhle, 

No ni ? s am bi sp6rs, 

'S mi fo chumhadh an fhleasgaich, 

So ghreas mi gu fh6d. ^ 

Tha mo chion air a' ghille, 

Dh' fhag fo iomadan mi, 

'S chaoidh cha ghabh mi fear eile, 

Gus an tig thu mi ris ', 

Gus an tig thu 'mi dhachaidh, 

Le do phass agad sgriobht', 

B' annsa pog bho d' bheul daithte, 

Na n' bheil aca do m. 

Tha mo chion air a ghaisgeach, 

Is maisich thh. beo, 

Dha 'm math an tig breacan, 

Feile preasach is cot ; 

Ite 'n e6in an deadh-chleachdadh, 

Air an fhleasgach is b6idhch', 

'S thug mi gaol dhuit gun teagamh, 

A ghreas mi gu 'n fhod. 

Tha mo ghaol-sa an c6mhnaidh, 

Fo ch6t' aig an righ, 

'S gur e 'm fleasgach is bbidhche, 

Thug Diuc G6rdain bhuam fhin. 

Ach na 'n tigt' thu air f6rlach, 

'S mi gu 'm p6s' tu gun ni, 

'S ged a bhiodh tu a d' Choirneal, 

Ghaoil, bu leoir dhuit-sa mi. 

'S lionar maighdean 6g uasal, 

Tha 's an uair so gun mhiadh, 

'S mur p6s iad ri buachaillean, 

Cha 'n 'eil daoin'-uails' ann d' an trian, 

'S raa 's a nil Ie6 bhi luaidh riu, 

Balaich shuarach nach fhiach, 

'S ann tha na fiuranan suairce, 

'S an ruaig fo an righ. 

Badenoch Songs. 191 

Tha mi fhein air a h-aon ann, 
Ged nach fhaod dhomh bhi m6r, 
Ann am beartas an t-saoghail, 
Cha taobh mi ri 'm bheo, 
Fear air son chaorach, 
No crodh-laoigh mu 'n a' chro, 
Chaoidh cha phos mi ri umaidh, 
'S cha churaidh learn e. 

Bha mi uair ann am barail, 

Gu 'n robh mi daingionn dhiom fhin, 

'S nach robh 'fheara air thalamh, 

Na mhealladh mo chridh', 

Gus an d' thainig an gallan, 

A dh' fhas fearail air thir, 

'S rinn e nise mo mhealladh, 

'S fhuair e 'n gealladh ud dhiom. 


Most appropriately after the above ma.y be placed a gay and 
gallant lilt which I first heard sung under circumstances which 
.always continue to give it very pleasing associations in my mind. 

A ri li o, ci h-orannan, 
A ri hor6, mo Cheiteag ! 
A ri li o, ci h-orannan. 

Latha dhomh bhi sraid-imeachd 

'S mi mach am braigh Dhun-Eidinn ; 

Thachair orrn na saighdearan, 

A dh' fhaighneachd mi 's a' Bheurla. 

Thachair orm, &c. 

'S gu'n d' thu'irt mi riu 's a' Ghailig, 

" Co dh' araich luchd an fheile ?" 

'S ann thu'irt iad gur i 'Ghaidhealtachd 
An t-ait' a b' fhearr fo 'n ghreine. 

'S gu'n d' thug iad a 'n tigh-osda mi, 
An t-6r gu'n d' ghlac mi fhein ann. 

Thug iad dhomh ri ph6sadh 
Nighean Dheors' mar cheile. 

'S ann thug iad dhomh ri ghiulan, 
Te dhubh nach sgur i fein dhomh. 

192 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

'Ga giulan air mo ghualainn, 

'S nach fhuaghail i dhomh mo leine. 

Ach 'fhir theid thar fta cuaintean, 
Na ceil mo dhuan nach leugh thu 

Mo shoraidh-sa gu m' mhathair, 
'S i dh' araich gun eis mi. 

Gu m' phiuthair is gu^m' bhraithrean, 
'S gu Mairi bhain, mo cheud ghaol. 

Mo mholachd gu na Frangaich, 
'N an campaichean cha teid sinn. 

'S olc a chuir an 6ige rium, 
'S a' gh6raiche le cheile. 

Chuir mi feile cuachach orm, 
'S an c6ta ruadh mar eididh. 

'S trie bha mi 's tu sugradh, 
'Am bruthaichean Ghlinn Eite. 

Ag iomain a chruidh ghuanaich, 
'S 'gam fuadach feadh an t-sleibhe. 


A young woman at the sheilings in Gaick was one day visited 
by her lover, to whom she had been betrothed, before leaving the 
Strath. But now, alas ! having prospects of another and better 
tochered maid, he came to " break the engagement." Neverthe- 
less when he fairly reached the bothie he felt rather ashamed of 
his purpose, and remarked in a sheepish way that he had merely 
looked in as he was searching for horses in the vicinity. Having 
had private information as to his conduct, she at once divined 
what had been the real object of his visit, and no sooner had that 
faithless swain turned from the door than he was arrested by a 
sad, familiar voice singing as follows : 

Sgeul a chualas bho 'n de, 
Mu shealgair an fheidli, 

Clach eadar mi-fein 's mo bhrog. 

Ghabh thu leisgeul 'sail uair, 
Gur e eich a bha bhuat, 

Cas a shiubhladh nam fuaran gorm. 

Badenoch Songs. 193 


Cas a dhireadh nan stuc, 
'S a thearnadh nan lub ; 

'Dheanadh fiadhach ri druchd gun cheo. 

Bu tu mo cheannaich' air feill, 
Mo chrios is mo bhreid, 

Is sgian bheaga na reidh-chois 6ir. 

Bu tu mo chompanach ruin, 
Nach fhagadh mi 'n cuil, 

'Nuair bhiodh each ann an cuirt an oil. 

'S bho nach 'eil agam spreidh, 
De mu 'n cuirinn ort deigh ? 

Ach mo bheannachd ad dheigh, 's bi falbh ! 

As he listened his heart relented, and all his old love returned, 
so that, her song being ended, he replied : 

Ach ged tha aic'-se spreidh, 
De mu 'n cuirinn oirr' deigh 1 

Fhad 'sa mhaireas tu fein rium beo. 


A certain bridegroom, accompanied by the customary train of 
young men and maidens, was gaily journeying to the home of the 
bride. Beside a knoll near the road a sorrowful damsel sat and 
sang. The bridegroom recognises the form and the voice of her 
whom he had jilted for one more richly endowed with worldly 
goods. He is so fascinated that he cannot proceed a step farther. 
He desires his companions to proceed to a neighbouring inn, 
where he promises shortly to rejoin them. Then he listens until 
that melting strain, which held him spell-bound, came to an end ; 
whereupon, in manner fitting, he takes up the refrain, protesting 
that neither wealth nor plenishing would evermore seduce his 
heart from " the meek and mcdest maid of excellent parentage," 
who had first gained his affections; and the marriage party waited 
long, but in vain. Such is the legend in connection with one of 
the most exquisite pastoral lyrics in the language. The sweet 
images of pastoral life, combined with equally enchanting glimpses 
of natural scenery, so skilfully introduced by the songstress, were 
indeed well calculated to stir deep emotions in the heart of her 
Celtic lover. The whole piece might form an interlude in the 
Forest of Arden. 


194 . Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ni mi suidh' agus cruban, 

'S cha 'n 'eil sugradh air m' aire ; 

Ann am bun an tuim riabhaich, 
Far 'na liath mi 's nii 'm chaileig. 

'S mi 'nam chaileig bhochd, ghoraich, 
Bu mhor mo dhoigh ri na fearaibh. 

Oeisd nam ban ! thug iad fchuam thu, 
'Ghleannain uaigneich a' bharraich ! 

Gleannan cuthagach, cuachach, 
'S an cinn an luachair 's an canach. 

Gheibhte crodh ann air bhuailtibh, 
Agus gruagaichean glana, 

'Toirt na laoigh bhuap' air eiginn, 
'S iad 'g an seideadh le 'n anail. 

Gheibht' ann cnothan a's caorrunn, 
'S iad, a ghaoil ! air bhlas meala. 

Cnothan cruinn air a' challtuinn, 

'S thus', a' ghraidh ! 's mi 'g an tional. 

Mile marbhaisg air mo chairdean, 
'S beag a b' fheaird' mi dhe 'n tional ; 

Bho naoh d' thug iad dhomh storas, 
Air son do bhoidhchead a cheannach. 

'S ann a thog iad mor-sgeul oirnn, 
Gu 'n robh mi fein a's tu falamh. 

Nach robh airgead 'nar poca, 

Na cheannaicheadh stop 's an tigh-leanna. 

Ge b' e dh' aithris an sgeul ud, 

High fein ! bu mhor am mearachd. 

Tha tri fichead bo ghuallach, 
Air do bhuaile, 's gum b' airidh ! 

'S uiread eile chrodh ciar-dhubh, 
Tighinn nuas a Buri Ranaich. 

Gheibhte sud leat air ailean, 
'S greigh do laraichean-searraich ; 
Tri fichead do ghobhair, 
'S Ian fonn chaorach geala. 

Badenoch Songs. 195 

3 S ged a thu'irt iad Iain Claon riut, 
'Ghaoil, b' aoidheil do shealladh. 

Bha do shlios mar an fhaoilinn, 
J S do dha thaobli mar an eala. 

Bha do phog mar na h-ubhlan, 
'S d' anail chubhraidh mar chanal. 

Gur ann oidhche do bhainnse, 
Dh' fhas thu ceannsgalach, fearail. 

Le do fhleasgaichibh oga, 

'G 61 air b6rd 's an tigh-leanna ; 

Le do mhaighdeanaibh riomhach, 
Lan siod agus anairt. 

Ach mur fhaigh mi dhiot tuille, 
Dean mo chuireadh gu d' bhanais ; 

Gu banais an oig-fhir, 

Dha 'n robh mo dhoigh bho chionn tamuill. 

Ged nach deanainn ach gaire, 
'Chumail each as am barail. 

'S ceannaich dhomh-sa paidhir lamhainnean, 
'S na bi gann rium mu 'n anart ; 

Theid 'g am chuibhrig fo 'n talamh. 
Agus ciste dhe ; ii uinnseann, 

'S ge b' e taobh do 'n teid thu, 
A righ fein ! gur tu mhealas. 


Ach na mealadh mi-fein iad, 
Mu theid mi 'gan gabhail. 

'S cha dean mi do threigsinn, 
Airson feudail no earrais. 

Bean gun lasadh gun ardan, 
'S a cairdean bhi ro-mhath. 


Notwithstanding that this very fine ballad was in much favour 
among the milkmaids of Kingussie and Laggan, it has been 
extremely difficult to get anything like a complete version of it. 

196 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

That given below has been collected in snatches from the recitation 
of a dozen persons. The untoward event which it celebrates made 
a profound impression throughout the country. About six score 
years ago, the cattle belonging to Captain Macpherson, tacksmaii 
of Blaragie, being let loose on a sunny day in early spring, became 
frantic with delight at their novel and unexpectedly acquired 
freedom, and betook themselves to the^ hills, heedless of conse- 
quences. The herd a young man named Macdonald followed 
them as far as Drumuachdar. While he traversed that bleak 
and solitary tract which extends between Dalwhinnie and Dalna- 
cardoch, the weather, proverbially fickle at that season, suddenly 
and terribly changed. A blinding snow-storm set in, and the 
unfortunate lad never more found his way home. Among those 
who set out in quest of the lost herd was his true-love. When 
the body was found in a well, the famished deer were stripping 
the willow branches overhead. What a wild wail of heart-grief 
resounds through these verses ! 

'S fhir nan sul donna 
Cha choma learn be6 thu ; 

'S fhir nan sill miogach. 

B'e mo mhiann bhi do chodhail. 

Tha mo chridhe cho briste 
Hi itealaich eoiriein ; 

'S tha mo chridhe cho ciurrta, 
'S nach giulain e 'n cotan. 

'S ioma suil a bha 'sileadh, 
Eadar Raineach 's Druimuachdar. 

La Fheill Bride 'san Earrach, 
Chaidh na h-aighean air fhuaireas 

'S tha mi sgith le bhi siubhal 
Leacann dubha Dhruimuachdair. 

Ged a fhuaireadh na h-aighean, 
Cha'n fhaighear am buachaill'. 

'S ann bha 'n Domhnullach finealt, 
'Na shineadh 'san fhuaran ; 

'Na shineadh air 'uilinn, 

Gun ion duine mu 'n cuairt dha. 

Bha a cbeann am preas aitinn, 
'S a chasan 'san luachair ; 

Badenoch Songs. 197 

'S luchd nam biodagan croma 
'Gearradh connaidh mu 'n cuairt dha. 

Ach 's truagh nach mise chaidh seachad, 
Mu 'n do mheilich am fuachd thu ; 

Le mo bhreacan dluth tioram, 
Dheanainn fhilleadh mu 'n cuairt duit ; 

'S cuach mhor uisge-bheatha, 
Chuireadh rugha 'nad ghruaidhean 

Uisge-beatha nam feadan 
Air a leigeadh tri uairean ; 

'S grainne beaga de 'n chanal, 
Mu 'n deach d' anail am fuairead ; 

Agus bothan math cluthaicht', 
An deis a thubhadh le luachair. 

Teine mor air lar tighe, 

'S e gun deathach, gun luath dhe. 

Tha do chinneadh 's do chairdean, 
Ro chraiteach an uair so ; 

Gu 'n do chuir iad 'san ath thu, 
Gu's an d' thainig Fear Chluainidh ; 

Gu's an d' thainig Claim Thamhais, 
Nach saradh an cruadal ; 

Gu's an d' thainig Clann Ian, 

An triuir bu shine 'sa b' uails' dhiubh ; 

Gu's an d' thainig Clann Mhuirich, 
'S gach aon duine mar chual' e. 

'S ann bha 'n eigheach 's an sgreadail, 
Anns na creagan sin shuas uait ; 

Agus sliochd do dha sheanair 
A sior-thional mu 'n cuairt duit. 

'N uair a thainig do bhraithrean, 
Bha iad craiteach, bochd, truagh dhe ; 

'N uair a thainig do phiuthair, 
Bha leann-dubh air a gruaidhean. 

'N uair a thainig do mhathair, 
Gu 'm b' i an t-asran truaigh i ; 

198 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bha a ceann air dhroch cheangal, 
'S a basan 'gam bualadh. 

la cha b' fhas' e dha d' athair, 
Bha e ' casadh a ghruaige. 

'N uair a thain' do bhean-diolain, 
Bha i spionadh a cuailein^ 

'S tha mi sgith 's mi bhi siubhal, 
Monadh dubha Dhrumuachdar. 


The first verse, forming the chorus of this weird fragment, is 
connected with a familiar fairy tale. What the particular tragedy 
was to which the subjoined stanzas point no man can tell ; and 
the Forest of Gaick, where it took place, keeps its own counsel. 
Hearing this little ballad for the first time sung by a woman 
almost ninety years of age, I endeavoured to ascertain from her 
what event had occasioned it, but with evident signs of impatience 
she said abruptly that it had to do with elf-land ; and upon that I 
knew it would be useless to pursue the subject further. 

Chi mi 'n toman caorruinn, cuilinn, 
Chi mi 'n toman caorruinn thall ; 
Chi mi 'n toman caorruinn, cuilinn, 
'S laogh mo cheill' air 'uilinn ann. 

'N creagan dubh taobh Loch-an-t-Seilich, 
Far an d' rinn mi 'n cadal seang ; 
'S 'n uair a dhuisg mi 's a' mhaduinn, 
Cha robh leth mo leabaidh ann. 

Dh eirich mi moch maduinn Earraich, 
Agus sheall mi mach an gleann ; 
Suil dha 'n d' thug mi tbar mo ghualainn, 
Bha d' cheum uallach suas nam beann. 

Ach na 'm b' aithne dhomhs' an rathad 
Gu bean-tighe an Uillt-Bhain, 
Dh' innseadh dhomh mu eirigh greine, 
An e fuil an fheidh bha ann. 


MacDhonnachaidh Ruaidh referred to here was a noted hunter 
in his day. He belonged to the Sliochd Thomais of Invertrommie. 

Badenoch Songs. 199 

He died young, and his widow was forced to marry against her 
will the tacksman of Ardbroileach, a successful agriculturist from 
Moray. She used to ascend the height above her home Tom 
Barrai and looking across the valley of the Spey to Invertromie, 
and the hills often traversed by her first husband, would sing this 
plaintive song, which she had composed. On this spot she was 
found dead. 

'Mhic Dhonnochaidh Ruaidh ! gur tu th' air m' aire, 
'Mhic Dhonnochaidh Ruaidh ! gur tu th' air m' aire, 
'Mhic Dhonnochaidh Ruaidh ! gur tu th' air m' aire, 
Cha bhiodh tu beo is mi air aran. 

Theirminn horo ! 'ghraidhein ghaolaich, 
Theirminn horo ! 'ghraidhein ghaolaich, 
Theirminn horo ! 'ghraidhein ghaolaich, 
'Fhir 'mhuineil ghile 's a' chinn chraobhaich. 

Fhuair mi sud 'sna ceithir laithe, 
Ceithir daimh mhor, ceithir aighean, 
Ceithir saic de dh' iasg na h-amhuinn, 
Gun bu nearach bean og fhuair leithid. 

Bu tu 'm fear mor 'san robh an tomad, 
Bhiodh tu null 's a nail tre Thromaidh 
Le do mhorghath 's le do chromaig, 
Mharbhadh tu 'n t-iasg air bharr nan toima. 

Dhireadh tu Croidhlea mhor nan aighean, 
Gun gljreim air aon dhos fhraoich na raineich, 
Mharbhadh tu fiadh air Ruigh an Lonaidh, 
'S dh' fhagadh tu 'n gaorr aig an f heannaig. 

'Nuair a thiginn 'stigh an ruighe, 
Dh' aithni'inn do bhothan 'na shuidhe, 
Bhiodh slat, bhiodh morghath, bhiodh lion ann, 
'S gunna caol am bac an t-suidhe. 

Bu tu mo luaidh na 'n robh thu agam, 
Ged nach d' fhuair mi dhiot ach sealan, 
Coisich' dian air Druim Pheathraich, 
Is moch a shiubhladh Coir' a' Bhealaich. 

Fhuair mi sealgair-sithinn suaircean, 
Fhuair mi rithisd sar mhac thuathanaich, 
Chuireadh ciste-mhine suas bhuam, 
Ach ged a fhuair cha b' e mo luaidh e. 

200 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S mi mo shuidh' air Tom Barrai', 
Chi mi 'n t-ait 's an robh mi fallain ; 
Gheibhinn teine mor 'g am gharadh 
'S bidh mis' an nochd mar ri 'm leannan. 

Some say that this beautiful stanza belongs to Bean 'ic Dhonn- 
achaidh lluaidh's elegy ^ 

Chaill mo shuilean a bhi meallach, 
Chaill mo ghruaidhean snuadh na fala, 
Tha da thrian an osain falamh, 
'S toil teine mor 's mo gharadh. 


These are probably the oldest verses of all. They refer to the 
ancient discord between the rival houses of Cluny and Mackintosh, 
and afford a delightful glimpse of seignorial magnificence in this 
country a couple of centuries ago. They form part of a bardic 
passage-at-arms between two female champions, who maintained 
the honour of their respective clans with the weapon that fell 
readiest : 

" Gheibhte sud an Tigh na Maighe, 
01 is fidhleireachd is aighear, 
Farurn sioda ris na fraighean, 
'Cur bhain-tighearnan a laighe." 

" Gheibhte sud an Tigh Chluainidh, 
Cuirm, is copan, is cuachan, 
Teine mor air bheagan luaithre, 
'S iad fein ag 61 air fion uaibhreach." 

" 'Ghaoil Lachlainn na biodh gruaim ort, 
Cha do ghlac do mhathair buarach 
Plaide bhan chuir mu 'guallainn, 
Ach sioda dearg is srol uaine. 

'N uair theid Lachlann do Dhun-Eidinn, 
Le 'each cruidheach, craobhach, leumach, 
Air beulaobh an righ gheibh e eisdeachd ; 
'S gheibh a ghillean gun e fein e." 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 201 

4th APRIL, 1895. 

At the meeting held this evening, the Secretary intimated that 
the Special Committee appointed to draw up and forward to Mrs 
John Stuart Blackie a message of condolence from the Society on 
the occasion of the death of her husband, Professor John Stuart 
Blackie, Edinburgh, one of the Society's honorary chieftains, had 
done so, and that he had received the following reply from Mrs 
Blackie : 

" 9 Douglas Crescent, Edinburgh, 
" 2nd April, 1895. 

" Dear Sir, Please convey to the members of the Gaelic 
Society of Inverness my deep gratitude for the kind expression of 
sympathy, and for the generous tribute which you have for- 
warded to me on their behalf. 

(Sgd.) " E. H. STUART BLACKIE." 

The Secretary also intimated that he had sent a wreath in 
name of the Society to be laid on the coffin of their late lamented 
Chief, Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant, and had received the 
following reply from his son, Captain Grant : 

"Roya 1 Hospital, Chelsea, 
" 3rd April, 1895. 

" The family of the late Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant wish 
very sincerely to express their thanks to the members of the 
Gaelic Society for the beautiful wreath, and for the message of 
condolence which they have received. Such expressions of 
sympathy coming from the men of the Highlands, for whom Sir 
Patrick always bore such strong affection, are most gratefully 
received by his family." 

The Secretary laid on the table two copies of Rev. J. G. 
Campbell's " Celtic Gleanings" as a donation towards the Society's 
library one from J. Mackay, Esq., C.E., Hereford, and one from 
Miss Amy Frances Yule, Tarradale House, Muir of Ord. 

The paper for the evening was a contribution from Mr Alex. 
Macpherson, Kingussie, read by himself, entitled, "Gleanings 
from the Charter Chest at Cluny Castle," No. II. Mr Mac- 
pherson's paper was as follows : 

202 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



On 28th February, 1894, I had fhe pleasure of reading to the 
Society selections from the Lovat Letters to Cluny of the '45, as 
contained in Volume XIX. of our Transactions recently published. 
I now proceed to give some selections from the numerous other 
historical letters in the Cluny Charter Chest, extending from 1689 
down to 1756, none of which, so far as I am aware, have hitherto 
been published. These further selections embrace one letter 
from the Chevalier de St George, four from his son, Prince Charlie, 
with twelve relative receipts, one from the Duke of Perth, 
four from the Marquess of Huntly, four from the Earl 
of Dunfermline, two from the Earl of Mar, two from Earl 
Marischall, one from the Earl of Moray, one from the Earl of 
Rothes, seven from John Graham of Claverhouse (Viscount 
Dundee), one from Viscount Frendraught, one from Lord George 
Murray, one from Sir John Dalrymple, seven from Sir John Hill, 
one from Sir Thomas Livingstone, six from Major-General Buchan, 
six from General Cannon, one from General Keith, four from 
General Hugh Mackay of Scourie, one from Colonel Cunningham, 
two from Robert Craigie, Lord Advocate, two from Donald 
Cameron of Lochiel, one from " Glenorchy," one from M'Donell of 
Glengarry, two from Robertson of Strowan, one from " Clan 
Ranald," and two from Murray of Broughton. 

All these letters relate more or less to the Risings in the High- 
lands on behalf of " the hapless Stewart line," from the time of 
Dundee down to the '45, and, besides throwing a good deal of 
light on that eventful period in Highland history, indicate the great 
importance attached by Jacobites and Whigs alike to secur- 
ing the active co-operation and support of the Cluny Chiefs of the 
time, to whom the letters, with two or three exceptions, were 
exclusively addressed. 


As first in point of time and interest, I begin with the letters 
from the " lion-hearted warrior," Viscount Dundee. By way of 
introduction, let me, at the outset, give some testimonies,. 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 203 

gathered from various sources, as to his character and services. 
Alluding in his " Vision of Don Roderick" to the various achieve- 
ments of the warlike family of Graham, Sir Walter Scott thus 
apostrophises General Graham, Lord Lynedoch : 

" 0, hero of a race renown'd of old, 

Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle-swell, 
Since first distinguish'd in the onset bold, 

Wild sounding when the Roman rampart fell ! 
By \\ allace' side it rung the Southron's knell, 

Alderne, Kilsyth, and Tibber owii'd its fame ; 
Tummel's rude pass can of its terrors tell. 

But ne'er from prouder field arose the name, 
Than when wild Ronda learn'd the conquering shout of 
Gneme !" 

" The pen of romance" says Professor Aytoun " has been freely 
employed to pourtray as a bloody assassin one of the most 
accomplished men and gallant soldiers of his age. In order to do 
justice to Claverhouse, we must regard him in connection with the 
age and country in which he lived. The religious differences of 
Scotland were then at their greatest height ; and there is hardly 
any act of atrocity and rebellion which had not been committed 
by the insurgents. ... To this day the peasantry of the 
western districts of Scotland entertain the idea that Claverhouse 
was a sort of fiend in human shape, tall, muscular, and hideous in 
aspect, secured by infernal spells from the chance of perishing by 
an ordinary weapon, and mounted on a huge black horse, the 
especial gift of Beelzebub ! On this charger it is supposed that 
he could ride up precipices as easily as he could traverse the level 
ground ; that he was constantly accompanied by a body of 
desperados vulgarly known by such euphonious titles as " Hell's 
Tarn" and the " Deil's Jock ;" and that his whole time was 
occupied, day and night, in hunting Covenanters upon the hills I 
Almost every rebel who was taken in arms and shot is supposed to 
have met his death from the individual pistol of Claverhouse." 

By other critics Dundee has been characterised as a remarkable 
man, whose name can never be forgotten while military skill and 
prowess and the most loyal and active fidelity to an almost hope- 
less cause shall challenge attention. Napier his partisan 
biographer describes him as " the most heroic genius, the most 
clear-headed statesman, the most accomplished and humane 
captain that Scotland had known since the murder of Montrose." 

204 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

In the Grameid, an historical Latin poem, composed by James 
Philip of Almerieclose Dundee's standard-bearerdescriptive of 
the campaign on behalf of the Stewarts in 1689, we have an 
instructive contribution to our knowledge of contemporary feeling 
regarding Iain Dulh nan Cath, as the Highlanders loved to call 
him. The original of that poem is a small duodecimo volume 
bound in old brown calf in the A<Jyocates' Library, and, in 1888, 
it was ably edited with an excellent translation, and valuable 
notes, by the Rev. Canon Murdoch of Edinburgh, for the Scottish 
History "Society. "The very labour," says the Canon, "of such 
an epic in praise of Claverhouse by a contemporary and neighbour 
is a set-off against the volumes of abuse with which a later 
generation assailed the memory of that gallant Graham. 
Assuredly Philip saw in his hero a general brave and wise, 
patient and dashing; a cavalier chivalrous, loyal, and generous, 
the centre of a circle of gay youths, the mover of the Highland 

heart, feared yet loved by the Scottish dragoon 

Assuredly it would be difficult to believe that the portrait by 
Wodrow and Macaulay and that by Philip had the same subject. 
The Grameid is entitled to an important place among contem- 
porary witnesses to the character of Dundee, and must contribute 
materially in rescuing that character from the region of darkness 
to which polemical prejudice has doomed it in Scotland. 7 ' 

In the description of Dundee's progress through Badenoch 
in Book II. of the Grameid, there is an interesting reference to 
Presmuckerach (near Dalwhinnie), now the property of Colonel 
Macphersou of Glentruim. 

" Presmochorae tenues. . . penates" 

" Quickly he passed the Spey at the fords where Cluny looks out 
on her wide plains, and deigned to visit the humble hearth of 
Presmochora. There he issued the Royal letter to all the faithful 
clans, bidding them to be ready with their men by the Kalends of 
May to follow the orders and the camp of the Graham." Dundee's 
route on that occasion evidently lay by the Pass of Corryarrick to 
the Spey, and along that river he would pass from where the 
Bridge of Laggan now is to the fords near Cluny. From thence 
there was a strait road to Loch Garry by Dalwhinnie. 

In his march from Fort-Augustus through Badenoch, Dundee, 
we are told, succeeded in " engaging most part of the men of note 
to be ready at a call to join in his master's service." . . " He 
found the Macphersons very keen and hearty in their inclinations 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 205- 

for his service." In Book IV. of the Grameid there is a graphic 
description of Dundee's subsequent progress from Lochaber 
through the ancient Lordship of Badenoch, embracing his stirring 
and inspiring address to the assembled clans. The following- 
portion of the admirable translation by Canon Murdoch is of so 
much interest in connection with Badenoch, and Dundee's letters 
to Cluny of the time, that I may be pardoned for giving that 
portion at length : 

" Dundee, passing a sleepless night, revolved his cares in his 
anxious breast, turning over in his mind the doubtful chances of 
fortune. On the approach of light he rises from his hard couch, 
and at once rouses the sentinels of the camp and the whole host. 
Lo ! at the first rays of the rising sun the camp resounded with 
joyous tumult, and a great shout went up when the commander, 
mounted on his noble charger, took his place in the midst of the 
army. With encouraging cheer they welcome their leader. He 
exults as he beholds the bands gleaming with brass, and admires 
the companies in their brilliant colours, and is refreshed by the 
sharp note of the pipe. Then from the rampart of the high 
Grampian camp he thus addresses the clans, and from his heart 
gave utterance to these words : ' 0, sons of Fergus, Scots, 
illustrious in war, faithful ever, through so many ages, to the 
royal race of Stuart, I rejoice that the clans rise unanimous in this 
war, and am happy to look upon brave men, who, with strong 
arms to revenge dishonour, may also retrieve our ruin, and bring- 
back the heir of the Caesar to his country's sceptre ! 0, faithful 
band ! bravely expel the enemy from the northern border, and 
drive him, the robber of his country, across the Grampians, and 
quickly condemn to Stygian darkness the monstrous head of the 
tyrant. Glory goes as companion to virtue, vile infamy to guilt. 
Each following the spirit beyond the grave. Neither ambition 
nor the glory of a name holds me loyal, nor the love of civil war, 
but the majesty of the lofty Caesar, ground under the evil yoke of 
the robber, has impelled me to demand the aid of your race. Yet 
in this request I have no purpose of seeking by pay the right 
hand of mercenaries. Let him who fears to follow my standard 
seek the impious camp of the Dutch tyrant. Let the sluggard 
and the coward depart, and all whose hearts throb not for the 
honour of the king, and all whom true love of honour impels not. 
My spirit will not suffer me to lead an ignoble life in the close 
camp, or to waste time in vain tumult. Let us turn our dreaded 
arms against the enemy. And you, O northern race, most faith- 

206 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

f ul ! you, chieftains and nobles and axe-bearing clans ! advance ! 
show your faces terrible to the enemy, and have at his throat with 
the drawn sword ! Let not my words delay you ; action itself 
demands us. Men, seize the avenging arms in your strong right 
hands ! Standard-bearer, raise aloft the tawny lion in the camp ! 
While I am your leader, I will prove by the success of our 
campaign whether any splendid glory may be found in the 
north, and I myself will be in the van when I hurl your 
united bands against the foe, and fiercely scatter the host 
of the enemy.' Thus he spoke. Meanwhile the golden 
sun in rapid car had nearly passed meridian. Lo ! after 
the deep silence a mighty shout arose from the camp, and 
here the heavens, and there Ben Nevis, resounded, and the stricken 
mountain tops re-echo the terrible thunder. At once the pipes 
struck up the pibroch, and the clarion and bugle sounded from 
hoarse throat the dreadful note and chant of war. Already 
squadron and battalion prepare to leave the camp. The army, 
brilliant with the varied weapons of Lochaber, moves the standard, 
while the pipe sounds, and the whole force in marching order 
advances into the open country. The bold Glengarry, as leader 
of the first line, marched in the van, accompanied by thirty horse 
in due order. Then the rest of the chiefs advanced each in his 
own station, and followed by his own people. Swift Foyers, 1 
following with his marshalled clan, brought up smartly the rear. 
And now the tartaned host had poured itself out upon the fields, 
and forced its way through rocks and rivers, and had left behind 
the confines of Glen Roy and the lofty mountains and walls of 
Garvamore. Now it is over the fords of Spey, and is holding the 
open country. With mighty cheer they assail the skies, with 
heavy tramp they oppress the earth. The Highland army, with 
its glitter of brass and flash of bright musket, braves the sun, 
and with bristling spears affrights the air as it moves forward. 
When at length it touched thy borders, Badenoch ! its wings 
were extended widely over the declivities of the hills. Far off the 
clans were seen shining in the light of the sun. A thousand 
helmets glitter, as many quivers resound ; a thousand spears, 
from their points bright with golden light, reflect the rays, and 
the fields feel the tread of the axe-bearing Gael, and the Grampians 
are terrible with the flaunting banners. 

"Forthwith in terror the whole district trembles, and every one 
who joins not the camp of the great Graham deserts his household 

1 Fraser of Foyers. 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest 207 

gods and cottage with its overhanging thatch and seeks some 
cave, hiding as a fugitive among the rocks. Dundee himself, full 
of confidence, conceived great hopes in his breast, and in exulta- 
tion revolved the weighty questions of the war in his mind. He 
led his force towards the enemy awaiting him beside the deep 
waters of the chilly Spey. He reached the green fields of Cluny, 
where the earth is clothed with fruitful corn. There the Graham 
calls to arms the race deriving its name from the priest. 1 
Presently, surrounded by his whole force with flying colours, he 
seeks the Castle of Raitts. 2 Already was Titan, with descending 
team, seeking the bounds of the Hesperian shore, and his long 
course ended, was plunging his wearied chariot in the sea ; and 
night coming on covers the earth with gloomy shadows. 

u The morrow it was the 29th of May 3 arose, and with its 
light dispelled the shades. Dundee gathered together the leaders 
of the host, and, standing on a grassy knoll, he thus addressed 
them : * Grampian race ! the glory of the Fergus-descended 
kings, the annual festal day of the restored Charles has at length 
shone out in golden light. This day, were I a wanderer on 
Batavian shore, were I flying as a wretched exile to the Adriatic 
waves, would I observe with its due offices and honours, and 
wherever under the heavens I may be, I will perform this annual 
solemnity in honour of the peace-bringing Charles. He, arms 
being laid down, put an end to the civil war, and peace restored 
brought round the Golden Age. 4 Therefore, with glad plaudits 

1 The Macphersons. In tfie translation given by Napier in his Life and Times 
of Dundee they are described as "the priest-descended Clan Vurich." "Tradi- 
tion," says Skene, " attaches to Gillichattan the epithet of Clerach or Claric, 
and he and his descendants, the Clan Vurich, are said to have been hereditary 
lay Parsons of Kingussie. One of them, Duncan, the son of Kenneth, appears 
in 1438 as Duncan Parson, from whom the Chief of the Clan takes his name 
of Macpherson. The Earls of Ross are descended from the lay Priests of 

2 The old Castle of R&itts stood on an eminence on the site of the present 
mansion house of Balavil, on the north side of the Spey, within three miles of 
Kingussie, commanding a magnificent view of the Grampians and the valley 
of the Spey. The estate is now the property of Mr Brewster-Macpherson, a 
grandson of Sir David Brewster, and a great-grandson of the tianslator of 
Ossian's poems. In a prominent position in the immediate vicinity there is a 
very beautiful and appropriate monument in memory of the translator 
erected soon after his death in 1796. 

3 The 29th of May was the birthday of Charles II., as well as the day of 
his entry into London on his restoration. 

4 "Our author," says Canon Murdoch, "in so often alluding to the reign 
of Charles II. as the Golden Age, is using a phrase of the time, quoted in the 

Vicar of Bray and revived in the novel by Edna Lyall, In the Golden Days. 
The first chapter is styled ' Good King Charles's Golden Days.'" 

208 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

sent up to the skies, let us all celebrate the birthday and the 
honour of Charles.' This he said, and with one heart and mouth 
they all sent up the cheer. In the midst of the camp there was a 
plain, rough with wild heather, and on it rose a little hill. 
Thither the hero, amid his thousands, betook himself, and bidding 
his officers stand around in wide circle, and the rank and file to 
form behind, he orders a huge pyre^of brushwood, branches, and 
logs steeped in resin to be raised and fired. He first applied the 
lighted sparks, and aroused them into flame with sulphur. Then 
the dread pipes with their music inaugurate the solemnity. The 
Graham, olive crowned and in his wonted scarlet, and holding a 
cup of foaming wine, stood before the pile, and silence being com- 
manded, thus he speaks : ' To the due honour of the late King, 
to his natal day, and the day of the happy restoration of Charles, 
to the success of his pious brother, to the health of the King and 
his restoration to his sceptre, with glad lips I drink this full cup/ 
He spoke, and with uncovered head he stood before the whole 
throng, and quaffed the bowl at a mighty draught. These words 
all his captains repeated, and with eager throats they drained 
their full goblets. The crash and clang of the pipes rose to the 
skies, and the flaming fagots lighten up the whole camp, so that 
one might believe that the distant fields and all the mountains 
were enkindled by the blaze. Already the sun was going down in 
rapid course from Olympus, and said the Graham 'This is no 
time for the games of the day, nor may we indulge in the light 
dance. Generals, raise your standards ; give the little that 
remains of the day to Bellona, and dispense with the games.' " 

Near at hand the lofty castle of liuthven, 1 built in bygone 
days of stones of an older building, is held and fortified as a post 

1 No other stronghold in the north was more identified with the history of 
the Highlands or indeed with the history of Scotland from the time 
of the "Red Comyn " downwards, than "the lofty Castle of Ruthven," 
so frequently burnt down and re-built. Standing on a prominent site 
on the south side of the river, within half-a-mile from Kingussie, 
at "a crossing point of tracks north, south, east, and west, in the 
great valley of the Spey, it saw and felt every raid westward by Gordons^ 
Grants, Mackintoshes ; eastwards by Macdonalds, Camerons, Macleans, and 
Campbells ; southwards by them all, with additions of Macphersons, Mac- 
ken/ies, and many more ; and northwards by the regular forces of the 
kingdom. The poet seems to allude to the old stones which had had their 
places in many succeeding buildings. Huntly, in fighting the bonny Earl of 
Moray, repaired it ; Argyll beseiged it in vain when held by Macphersons ; 
Montrose, Monck, Lilburn, and now Mackay garrisoned it, each successive 
occupant having to make it habitable for himself ; and next Dundee burns it. 
It again figures in the '45, when the relics of Prince Charles's force, several 
thousands strong, under Macpherson, rallied round the old walls. At that time 
it was commonly known as Ruthven Barracks. It was made a garrison for 40 

Gleanings from U/uny Charter Chest. 209- 

of the Dutch General. Dundee commands the castle to be 
destroyed, its towers thrown down, and the place given to the 
flames. He despatched a man of courage, chosen from his 
host, to carry his orders to the commander of the Castle. 
As he seeks (with him) the outworks of the stronghold, 
he says, " Scot, tell that youth, in my name, to 
leave these walls, or I will level their lofty turrets 
to the ground.' He faithfully bears the message of his great 
master, and first sounding his bugle, he bids the garrison depart, 
and orders the castle to be quickly rendered. But from the high 
rampart came the reply, * I, a Forbes, 1 hold this castle for the 
Prince of Orange, and for him will I hold it, if the gods permit/ 
There was no delay, all were roused at the proud response. 
Keppoch, as the commander, was sent at once with a strong force. 
He approached the walls with sound of horn and pipe, and 
encircled Ruthven Castle with his men. Thrice with loud voice 
he summoned the commander to conference. He told him that 
the Highland clans had taken the field, and that the Graham was 
in arms, and that unless he yielded up his post, himself, and his 

' musketters ' in 1664, and in 1668 it is ranked as one of the strongholds of 
the kingdom appointed for the incarceration of prisoners. Its condition in 
1693 is spoken to by Colonel John Hill, and his words apply equally, he says, 
to Blair Atholl. He says it is 'almost ruinous, being neither wind nor water- 
tight, so that many of the soldiers there posted, through the incessant rains in 
the night time, have contracted fluxes, scurveys, and other diseases, and others 
of the soldiers do frequently desert because of the bad accommodation, there 
not being habitable space for 40 men, though there were 4 score centinells 
besides officers in the garrison.' Treasury Register t September 8th, 1693, 
quoted by Ross in Old Scottish Colours, p. 27. Mackay had stationed Captain 
John Forbes, with some of Grant's men, in the castle as an advanced post, and 
in order to make easy the junction of Ramsay, who was trying to force his- 
way through Atholl with the reinforcements sent from the South. Mackay, 
having advanced about half way to Ruthven from Inverness, got a message 
from Forbes that Ramsey was retreating southward, and that Dundee was 
only twelve miles from Ruthven up the Spey. Mackay moved to Culnakyle 
and Belcastle, i.e. Castle Grant, and from that base moved up the Spey to 
within a short distance of Dundee's camp at Raitts. Finding him strongly 
posted he fell back upon the kirk of Alvie, where we shall next find him, 
Ruthven being left to its fate." 

1 Captain John Forbes, brother of President Forbes of Culloden. " He 
was employed by his brother to convey his address to the Prince of Orange, 
and by his influence was made Major in Grant's regiment, I presume, in 1690, 
over the nominees of Melville and Mackay. He became Lieutenant-Colonel, 
and was employed (as he was at anyrate going north) to carry the order 
respecting the Glencoe massacre to Sir John Hill. He expressed his horror at 
the order when the letter was opened. He afterwards commanded at Fort- 
William. Dundee treated him with great leniency on this occasion, and let 
him depart free with his garrison." 


210 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

force, the castle would be levelled to its foundations. It is in 
vain. Both parties prepare for the fray ; this one determines to 
defend the stronghold committed to him, and Keppoch vows that 
he will give the place to the flames. Forthwith he discharges his 
guns, surpassing the weapons of Jove, and like hail fly the bullets 
of lead. Ladders are fixed to the walls, and he bids the ditch be 
filled with piles of wood and beams, and to apply the rapid flame 
to the fortress. At length the signal being given, Forbes himself 
spoke : ' That general, who gave me this castle to hold, is near. 
If he come not within three risings of the sun in the east, the 
Graham shall have these walls, and I will depart inglorious, laying 
down my arms.' Thrice sank the sun in Tartessian waters, and 
thrice he raised his rosy head from the dark Indies. When the 
day appointed for the surrender of the castle arrived, there was 
no host on the plain. Mackay pressed not forward, nor brought 
relief. Forbes yielded the captured castle, and himself, and his 
whole force to the victor, who at once applied the torch to the 
roofs, and threw down the burning walls. Then, as a conqueror, 
he leads the captured throng in long line, and in the manner of 
an ancient triumph he sought the camp. 

"Meanwhile, General Mackay was now encamped at the Kirk 
of chilly Alvie, in a position difficult to attack. In his front lay 
a wooden bridge of vast timbers ; in his rear was a ditch of deep 
rolling water ; a burn 1 protected his right, and the woods his left. 
Here, passing away his time in sluggish lethargy, he relieves his 
breast, conscious of anxious care. The Graham, mounted in the 
midst of his array, of Highlanders, leaving with raised standards 
the Castle of Raitts, made his way through the open country. 
The earth was trembling under the heavy tramp of his cavalry, 
when a messenger with a lying rumour reported that the enemy 
was crossing the mountains in strength, and that the Orange 
troopers were pressing on in his rear. He wheels about, and 

" It is difficult," sayi Canon Murdoch, " without study on the spot, to 
identify this camp. If the bridge was over the Spey, which is not probable, 
we may suppose the camp at the north end of it, the rear covered by the Loch 
of Alvie, the right by a local stream, and the left by the woods, 'if he were 
facing up the Spey, he might have his rear towards the west side of the loch, 
with a bridge over a considerable stream in his front, the winding of the burn 
would protect hi? right, and the woods between him and the Spey, the left. 
Perhaps Bruce addressed him from the Waterloo Cairn Rocks, or from the 
Tor of Alvie, or froni where the Duke of Gordon's monument now stands." 

The " burn " referred to was probably the outlet from Loch Alvie to the 
river Spey, now crossed by a stone bridge, within two or three hundred yards 
from the present inn of Lynwilg. 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 211 

Loyell 1 leads the way. Dundee also despatched a body of foot 
under his brother, 2 to a rising ground, which, with a dense girdle 
of wood surrounding it, was also fenced by the current of the 
J3pey. He himself leads some horse over the rocky heights, 
and through the rugged denies he sends out chosen scouts. 
Nowhere was there an enemy to be seen, and nowhere could any 
wing of the alleged army be descried. Bruce, who was sent for- 
ward towards the Kirk of Alvie with a dozen horse, and approached 
the enemy, discovered him holding his safe post within his camp. 
Stationing himself on the top of a high rock, he assails the general, 
and lashes him with bitter words : 'Art thou then that Mackay 
from the North, faithless to your country, who, on behalf of the 
robber, wages this ill-starred war, and oppressest the father of the 
country 1 wretch ! worthy of all the penalties of Stygian 
darkness, faithless to God, and to your country and your King a 
rebel ! not with impunity shall you long rejoice in such crime. 
Leave the defiled camp of the Orange tyrant, give him back his 
own, and take up the arms of the Caesar ; or, if you prefer it, 
leave your stronghold, and trust to the issue of a battle on the 
open plain.' Presently, with uplifted voice, he addressed the 
dragoons, and calls his former comrades in agitated tones ' 
comrades, do you who once followed the sacred standards of 
the King, your master deserted, do you now, a pack of turn- 
coats, bear the arms of the robber against the astonished North ? 
Do you against the Scottish King turn your impious force 1 
Does such villainy possess your degenerate souls? pack of 
slaves, disgrace of ^your age, seek now the darkness and trust to 
your heels, for the strength of your position will not avail you in 
such crime. Dundee, with the sword of vengeance for your guilt, 
is near you in force. Look at me, your commander in former 
times. If in your face any shame, and in your heart any virtue, 
remains, men ! turn your standards and come to our camp.' 
Thus he spoke, and for answer Scourie sent a smoking reply, the 
powder being fired in the terrible guns. Bruce quickly 'fired back 
and withdrew from the walls of Alvie. Giving rein to his light 
horse through woods aud fields, he returned to the camp, having 
reconnoitred from his post the strength of the enemy, and made 
his report, that they in sloth were taking safe rest within their 
camp. At once Dundee, rejoicing at the tidings of the nearness 
of the foe, advances with a compact body of troops in good order. 

1 Napier translates " Loyello " in the original as Lochiel, and Canon 
Murdoch says he may be right. 

2 David Graham, a brother of Dundee. 

212 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Having left Dun Nachtan some way behind, he marvelled to see 
there clouds of smoke rising to the skies. Keppoch, after he had 
destroyed Ruthven Castle, having returned with great pomp to 
this house, fired it, urged by the spur of revenge and the love of 
plunder, and reduced it to ashes. 1 The flocks, the ravished wealth 
of the harried houses, oxen, and the common booty of the fields- 
were carried off. Nor was our general able to restrain the violence 
of this savage soldier from breaking out and wrapping the whole 
district in flames. Dundee, on horseback, moved swiftly forward 
both horse and foot, and at quick step passed through the fields 
of Dalraddy, crossing rocks and streams, till he threatens the 
camp at Alvie. Scourie, when he perceived the enemy upon him, 
with precipitate flight left his camp secretly at midnight and in 
fear took to the hills and the woods. Thus does the formidable 
army of lions, when led by a stag, fear the army of stags when 
led by a lion. Thus the bright fame of a hero is worth a thousand 
swords. The name of the Graham was enough to affright the 
enemy and to compel him to desert his post in disgraceful flight. 
Dundee hurries on and passes the house of Alvie, and thy woods,. 
Kothiemurchus, and at the fields named from Coilus he fords 
the Spey. With wary skill he traverses the woods and vast forest 

1 Dunachton was the old castle of Mackintosh on Loch Insh, and was never- 
re-built after its destruction by Macdon?ld of Keppoch in 1089. Dundee 
had moved down the north bank of the Spey from Raitts, had passed 
Dunachton. leaving it unharmed, and was pressing forward towards Alvie by 
Boat of Inch, Kincraig, and Dalraddy when he beheld Dunachton in flames, 
and the country around in a blaze, through the personal vengeance of Keppoch. 
" Our author," says Canon Murdoch, " presents him* as besieging Ruthven 
Castle, and without authority burning the house of Dunachton and ravishing 
the country with fire and sword. He confesses that Dundee could not at all 
times control this wild soldier. We learn, however, from the Memoirs of 
Lochicl that on this occasion Dundee had him up, and, in presence of all the 
officers of his small army, he told him ' that he would much rather choise to 
serve as a common souldier among disciplined troops than command such 
men as he, who seemed to make it his business to draw the odium of the 
country upon him. That though he had committed these outrages in revenge 
of his own private quarrel, yet it would be generally believed that he had 
acted by authority ; that since he was resolved to do what he pleased, he 
begged that he would immediately begone with his men, that he might not 
hereafter have ane opportunity of affronting the General at his pleasure, or of 
making him and the better-disposed troops a cover to his robberies.' Keppoch 
humbly begged his lordship's pardon, and told him 'that he would not have 
abused Macintosh so if he had not thought him an enemy to the King, as 
well as to himself ; that he was heartily sorry for what was passed, but since 
that could not be amended, he solemnly promised a submissive obedience for 
the future, and tliat neither he nor any of his men should at any time there- 
after stir one foot without his lordship's positive commands.'" Memoirs of 
Lochiel, p. 243. 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest. 213 

paths of Abernethy, and onward marches through the haughs of 
Crorndale, pursuing the flying general, He presses after him with 
his whole force, and, as a whirlwind, disperses the hostile 
squadrons. He shakes the earth with the clang of the trumpet, 
and affrights the stars with the fire-flashing muskets. 

"Quickly on flying wing, amid the applause of the plaided host, 
the word passes that the Dutch general is giving way, and has 
indeed taken to base flight, that he was leaving the glens, and 
Avith swift foot was seeking the south. Dundee pushes on, and in 
ihe winding Glenlivet, as he turned his eyes on the distant 
watered plains, he beheld the hostile force passing into conceal- 
ment behind a hill. At once to the heavens rose the shout of the 
clans. They rejoice that the da'y has come when they see their 
enemy, and when they may display their valour in brave deeds. 
With alacrity they draw their swords, and extended on the plain, 
they move in ordered ranks ; they cast their brogues of bull's 
hide and make a pile of their plaids, and thus stripped prepare for 
the battle. The Graham, looking from a hill-top, perceived that 
the enemy's squadrons were stealing away from their position. 
He bids the trumpet sound the set on, to incite th& Highland host 
to the pursuit. Then inished out the trumpeters and affrighted 
the Dutchmen with the blare of the clarions, pouring out from the 
curved brazen throats in his very face the grand notes of " The 
King shall enjoy his own again." As the war trumpets sounded 
to the fray, Mackay, swifter than the east wind, turns his dusty 
back, and panting hurries towards the coast. Thus the hungry 
fox, seeking in the darkness of night the full sheep-fold, turns 
when he hears the barking of the fierce dogs, and with drooping 
neck and brush trailing in the mire he hides his shame under the 
cover of the woods. 

"Dundee moves his standards waving on to battle into the open 
plain, and speeds headlong after the flying enemy. In exultation 
he weights his shoulders with his corslet, and presses back his 
flowing locks within his gleaming helmet. He calls for his 
charger, and in complete armour he leapt into the lofty saddle. 
The war-horse seemed to feel the pride of his rider, and flew faster 
than the north wind. Not the horse of Castor, nor of Achilles, 
went thus ; nor Pegasus on fleet wing. Bellerophon ne'er cleft 
the light air more fleetly. Now the Graham gallops circling 
amid the plaided host, and exhorts the leaders. He calls the 
cadet of the Erasers, faithful to his commands, and addresses him 
as he goes in few words : ' Go ! son of Beauly, nevor found 
opposed to the Royal Stuart, press on the rear of the flying 

214 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

enemy, and begin the battle. Swift must be your course, pass 
the light clouds in your speed.' He flies, fleeter than any stag, 
and attacks the rear of the Dutch force with musket fire, and 
bids, in cutting words, the harassed enemy to stand, and trust 
himself on the level ground. But he, urging his steps all the 
more rapidly towards the coast, hastened his precipitate course 
southwards. The lightning-like Graham presses him with his 
whole line, and, like a whirlwind, Allows the fugitives through the 
fields. In one day he thrice drove the enemy from his position. 
Already he had crossed the high declivities of snowy Balrynnis, 
and left the fields of Balveny far behind. The sun, meanwhile, 
is setting, and the evening star coming forth on the heavens. 
Still rise the shouts .of men, still" comes the panting of the pur- 
suing horses ; the air resounds with loud clamour, the hollows 
groan, the earth trembles, stricken with the force of their heavy 
tramp ; here, at the double, comes a regiment of foot, there the 
iron hoof of the cavalry cuts the quivering turf at the gallop. 
There is no rest till black night steals colour from the scene, and 
outspread darkness covers the earth. 1 ' 

In the "Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland from the dis- 
solution of the last Parliament of Charles II. until the Sea Battle 
of La Hogue," by Sir John Dalrymple of Cranstoun (a later 
baronet of the family than the Sir John of Glencoe notoriety), 
published in 1771, it is related of Dundee while the severity 
of his discipline is commented upon that "if anything 
good was brought him to eat he sent it to a faint or sick 
soldier. If a soldier was weary he offered to carry his arms. He 
kept those who were with him from sinking under their fatigues, 
not so much by exhortation as by preventing them from attending 
to their sufferings. For this reason he walked on foot with his 
men ; now by the side of one clan, and anon by that of another. 
He amused them with jokes. He flattered them with his know- 
ledge of their genealogies. He animated them by a recital of the 
deeds of their ancestors, and of the verses of their bards. It was 
one of his maxims that no general should fight with an irregular 
army unless he was acquainted with every man he commanded." 

While the character and services of Dundee are no doubt 
exaggerated by such partisan champions as Napier and Aytoun, it 
is equally clear, on the other hand, that his memory has been to 
no little extent unjustly traduced by extremely prejudiced critics 
like Wodrow, Macaulay, and others. Of course the old adage- 
1 holds good that "two blacks don't make a white." But even 
assuming that Dundee was guilty of all the cruelties laid to his- 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest. 215 

charge by his bitterest opponents a very extreme assumption 
indeed these cruelties altogether pale in comparison not only 
with the infamous butchery on the part of the Whigs, with 
the Prince of Orange's express authority, at Glencoe, but also 
with the inhuman barbarities perpetrated more than half a 
century later by "the bloody Duke of Cumberland" and his 
minions on the defenceless Highlanders after Culloden. 

With the Jacobites, Dundee was the brave and handsome 
cavalier, the last of the great Scots and gallant Grahams. With 
the Covenanters he was " bloody Claverse,"' the most cruel and 
rapacious of all the mercenary soldiers of that age. " He was 
neither," says an impartial critic, " the best nor the worst of his 
class. As a military commander he had no opportunities for dis- 
play. He was the hero of only one important battle, and in that 
his skill was shown chiefly in his choice of position. As a perse- 
cutor, he did not, like Dalyell, introduce the thumb-screw, nor, 
like Grierson of Lagg, drown helpless women at the stakes oil the 
sea-sands. ' In any service I have been in,' he said, ' I never 
inquired further in the laws than the orders of my superior officers.' 
. . . It was fortunate for his reputation that he died after a 
great victory, fighting for an exiled and deserted monarch." 

" In the garden of old Urrard, 

Among the bosky yews 
A turf en hillock riseth 

Refreshed by faithful dews; 
Here sank the warrior stricken 

By charmed silver ball, 
And all the might of victory 

Dropped nerveless in his fall. 
Last hope of exiled Stuart, 

Last heir of chivalrie, 
In the garden of old Urrard 

He fell, the brave Dundee." 

It is related of Dr Munro, minister of St Giles, the distinguished 
Principal at the time of the University of Edinburgh, that he 
was accused of rejoicing at the victory of Dundee at the battle 
of Killiecrankie. At the enquiry instituted before the Parlia- 
mentary Commission in 1690, the rev. Principal, after calling 
upon his accuser for proofs, thus boldly expressed himself : 

" The libeller does not think I rejoiced at the fall of my Lord 
Dundee ! I assure him of the contrary ; for no gentleman, soldier, 

216 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

scholar, or civilised citizen will find fault with me for this. I had 
an extraordinary value for him ; and such of his enemies as retain 
any generosity will acknowledge he deserved it." 

" * Bloody Claverse,' ' Bonnie Dundee ' the two names," says 
the unprejudiced writer of the article on Viscount Dundee in the 
last edition of Chambers' Encyclopaedia, published in 1890, 
"illustrate the opposite feelings bcrne towards one whom the 
malice of foes and the favour of frfends have invested with a 
factitious interest. He was neither the devil incarnate that legend 
and Lord Macaulay have painted him, nor the 17th century 
Havelock of Aytoun, Napier, and Paget. Wodrow himself admits 
that ' the Hell- wicked- witted, bloodthirsty Graham of Claverhouse 
hated to spend his time with wine and women.'" 

Here is the testimony as to the character of Dundee given 
by Drummond of Balhaldy, the biographer of Sir Ewen Cameron 
of Lochiel : 

" His Lordship was so nice in point of honour, and so true to 
his word, that he never was known once to break it. From this 
exactness it was that he once lost the opportunity of an easy 
victory over Mackay in Strathspey, by dismissing Captain Forbes ; 
who, meeting the two troopers sent by the Lord Kilsyth, not only 
discovered that intelligence, but the neighbourhood of the High- 
land army, as I have formerly related. This is the only real error 
chargeable in his conduct while he commanded in this war. But 
this is the more excusable that it proceeded from a principle of 
religion, whereof he was strictly observant; for, besides family 
worship performed regularly evening and morning at his house, he 
retired to his closet at certain hours and employed himself in that 
duty. This I affirm upon the testimony of severals that lived in 
his neighbourhood in Edinburgh, where his office of Privy Coun- 
cillor often obliged him to be ; and particularly from a Presby- 
terian lady, who lived long in the storey or house immediately 
below his Lordship's, and who was otherwise so rigid in her 
opinions that she could not believe a good thing of any person of 
his persuasion, till his conduct rectified her mistake." 

Writing in the Celtic Magazine for August, 1877, the Rev. Dr 
Stewart of Ballachulish, so well and favourably known under the 
nom-de-plume of "Nether Lochaber," remarks of Lord Dundee, 
' that whatever his Covenanting opponents may have thought and 
said of him, the Highlanders, at least, loved him with all their 
heart, and held him a general of name and fame beyond anyone 
else then living ; and that they so honestly believed, rightly or 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest. 217 

"wrongly, is evidenced by their constantly and fondly speaking of 
him as Iain Dubh nan Cath dark or swarthy John of Battles a 
soubriquet which must have been proper and apropos, for to this 
day it has never died, and you meet with it in almost all the 
songs and fireside sgeulachds that go back to the days of Sir Ewen 
Dubh of Lochiel and ' Bonnie Dundee.' Next to James Graham, 
the ' Great' Marquis of Montrose, Lord Dundee stands first and 
foremost, if Highland song and Highland story are to be taken as 
factors in the appraisement. How highly Dundee was esteemed 
as a leader or ' King' of men, to use the Homeric epithet, how 
much he was thought of as a gentleman . and accomplished 
soldier, sans peur et sans reproche, finds very striking illustration 
in the bitter exclamation of Macdonald of Clan Ranald" (Gordon 
of Glenbucket ?) " at the battle of Sheriffmuir, when he saw that 
things that might have gone otherwise were going amiss ' ! 
for one hour of Dundee.' " . . . "I am quite prepared to 
couch and splinter a lance in honour of Lord Dundee and Killie- 
crankie, if called upon, were it but for the sake of ' Auld Lang 
Syne' and the days when Scotland was spoken of on the Continent 
of Europe as a ' nation of heroes.' " 

In a subsequent letter appearing in the Celtic Magazine for 
November, 1877, " Nether- Lochaber" writes :" Like William 
Edmonstone Aytoun, I can very honestly say that ' I am not 
ashamed to own that I have a deep regard for the memory of Lord 
Dundee, founded on a firm belief in his public and private 
virtues, his high and chivalrous honour, and his unshaken loyalty 
to his sovereign.' " 

As is well known, Dundee fell by a musket shot at the Battle of 
Killiecrankie on 27th July, 1689, while waving on one of his 
battalions to advance. It appears clear, however, that his death 
did not immediately ensue. In the evidence given before the 
Commission of the Scottish Parliament in 1690, the sworn testi- 
mony of Lieutenant Nisbet (a Government witness) is to the 
effect that a soldier named Johnston related that he had caught 
Dundee in his arms as the brave general sank from his saddle 
after being shot. " How goes the day ?" murmured Dundee. 
" Well for King James," said Johnston, " but I am sorry for your 
Lordship." " If it is well for him," was the dying man's touching 
answer, " it matters the less for me" an heroic sentiment worthy 
of the last hours of such a devoted champion of the " almost 
hopeless cause" of the exiled and unfortunate Stewarts as Jain 
Dul>h nan Cath, whom the Highlanders loved so well. In the 
Latin epitaph by his learned and accomplished contemporary, Dr 

218 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Archibald Pitcairn, as translated by the poet Dryden, Dundee is. 
thus apostrophised : 

" Oh, last and best of Scots ! who didst maintain 
Thy country's freedom from a foreign reign ; 
New people fill the land, now thou art gone, 
New gods the temples, and new kings the throne ! 
Scotland and thou did in each other live ; 
Nor would'st thou her, nor coufft she thee survive. 
Farewell, who dying did'st support the State 
And could not fall but with thy country's fate." 

According to some accounts Dundee died where he fell. 
Others maintain that, wrapped in two plaids, he was carried off 
the field to Blair Castle, and there expired not many hours after- 
wards. In the " Life and Times of Dundee," published in 1862, 
it is stated " that the invariable tradition in Blair-Athole is that 
Dundee was carried from the field to the Castle and died therein." 
Tn the Bodleian Library at Oxford is preserved the Letter Book of 
Nairne, Secretary to King James, and in this book is 
the copy of a letter written or dictated by Dundee after he 
had received his death-wound, and been carried to Blair Castle, 
giving the King a brief account of the victory. That letter has 
been treated by Macaulay and others as a forgery, but it is simply 
inconceivable with what possible motive, or for what purpose, 
Nairne, or anybody else, could have forged such a document, 
which remained imprinted for a period of nearly 90 years. The 
letter was firtt published in 1775 by James Macpherson, of 
Ossianic fame, in his valuable historical collection, entitled, 
" Original Papers containing the Secret history of Great Britain 
from the Restoration to the Accession of the House of Hanover." 
In reply to queries addressed by Mark Napier in 1862 to the 
Reverend W. D. Macray of the Bodleian Library, the following 
answers were returned by that gentleman : 

" Bodleian Library, Jany. 2, 1862. 

" Dear Sir, Nairne's Papers are preserved in Carte's Collection 
in this Library. Amongst them is the volume marked ' A. L.' in 
folio, from which Macpherson printed the papers enquired for by 
you. The Speech and Letter are copies by a contemporaneous 
hand, written on the two sides of the same leaf, and numbered 
242, as in Macpherson. The one is headed, ' The Ld. Dundee's 
speech before ye Battle,' and the other Lord Dundee's Ire. to 
King James after ye ffight,' 

Gleanings from Gluny Charter Chest. 219 

" They are very correctly printed by Macpherson ; the only 
trifling variations being the following : In the speech ' usurpa- 
tion]^] and rebellion^] ;' ' but ['twill] inspire.' In the letter 
' ['tis] certain ;' * Mackay's ' [instead of McKays] ; ' [in] this 
occasion,' ' [to] your service,' ' (V]ntirely yours.' 

" There is no endorsement upon the paper, nor is it more 
fully described in the table of contents prefixed to the volume. 

" The other references are correct. The letters in D. N. vol. i. 
folio 46, 48, are copies, not originals. I believe Macpherson is 
perfectly trustworthy. In the course of cataloguing the Pepys 
Papers, I found that his papers printed from that Collection were 
very correct, with the exception that the letters from Abbeville 
to Lord Preston are described by him as being to Lord Sunderland 
(p. 285) ; and I believe the Tanner extracts are equally faithful. 

" Any further information in my power I shall be happy to 
give. I am, sir, yours very faithfully, 

(Sgd.) "W. D. MACRAY." 

To further enquiries, Mr Macray responded in the following 
terms : 

"Lord Macaulay," he says, "did consult the Carte Papers 
personally. I recollect showing- him some other papers myself. 
But I do riqt know whether he saw this volume or not. . 
When I say that t.he copies " of Dundee'^ speech to the soldiers, 
and letter to the King " are contemporaneous, I mean that they 
are evidently before 1700. There can be no doubt ivhatever that 
they were written aboat 1690." 

In a subsequent letter, Mr Macray says : 

" There is not, as far as the paper itself is concerned, for any- 
thing that I can see, a shadow of reason for pronouncing the dying- 
letter a forgery. Probably Lord Macaulay did not look in the 
right volume for it, as the variety of labels affixed by Carte is 
rather perplexing, and that, therefore, not finding it, he assumed 
its non-existence." 

Macray, it will be seen, carefully examined the copy of the 
letter " by a contemporaneous hand " among the Nairne papers in 
the Carte collection preserved in the Bodleian Library. Against 
the conjectures or prejudiced statements of Macaulay and his 
followers we have accordingly the clear and emphatic testimony 
of Macray to the effect that for anything he could see there was 
not " a shadow of reason " for holding " the dying letter" to be a 
forgery. Even supposing that the conjectures referred to were 
well founded, it is quite evident from Macray's testimony, as well 
as from the testimony of the impartial author of the article on 

220 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

" Dundee " in the last edition of Chambers' Encyclopaedia, " that 
the forgery was not Macpherson's." 

" The next morning after the battle," says the biographer of 
Lochiel, "the Highland army had more the air of the shattered 
remains of broken troops than of conquerors; for here it was 
literally true that 

* The vanquished triumphed, and the victors mourned.' 
The death of their brave general, and tHe loss of so many of their 
friends, were inexhaustible fountains of grief and sorrow. They 
closed the last scene of this mournful tragedy in obsequies of 
their lamented general, and of the other gentlemen who fell with 
him, and interred them in the church of Blair of Atholl with a 
real funeral solemnity, there not being present one single person 
who did not participate in the general affliction." 

" Open wide the vaults of Atholl, 

Where the bones of heroes rest 
Open wide the hallowed portals 

To receive another guest ! 
Last of Scots and last of freemen 

Last of all that dauntless race, 
Who would rather die unsullied 

Than outlive the land's disgrace ! 
thou lion-hearted warrior ! 

Keck not of the after time : 
Honour may be deemed dishonour, 

Loyalty be called a crime. 
Sleep in peace with kindred ashes 

Of the noble and the true, 
Hands that never failed their country, 

Hearts that never baseness knew. 
Sleep ! and till the latest trumpet 

Wakes the dead from earth and sea, 
Scotland shall not boast a braver 

Chieftain than our own Dundee." 

On the 200th anniversary of Dundee's death in July, 1889, the 
Duke of Atholl appropriately erected a tablet in the vault of the 
Atholl family, in the churchyard of Old Blair, with the following 
inscription : 

JOHN GRAHAM of Claverhouse, 

Viscount Dundee, 
Who fell at the Battle of Killiecrankie, 

27th July, 1689 ; aged 46. 
This Memorial is placed here by John, 7th Duke of Atholl, K.T., 1889. 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest. 221 

The following letters from Viscount Dundee, which are given 
in their original spelling, are all written to Cluny of the time on 
tiny sheets of notepaper. Himself a Protestant, although an 
Episcopalian, Dundee, it will be noticed, in his first letter to 
Cluny says that he is " as much concerned in the Protestant 
religion as any man, and will doe my best indevors to see it 
secured." Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 are holograph of Dundee 
himself. No. 5 is apparently written by an amanuensis, with 
the exception of the latter portion of the postscript, which is 
in Dundee's own handwriting. They are all signed " Dundie." 
Five are addressed on the outside simply " For the Laird of 
Glume." Nos. 5 and 7 are addressed "For the Laird of Clunie in 
Badenoch." Nos. 1 and 4 do not bear the name of the place from 
which they were dated, but they must have been written from 
Lochaber, where Dundee appears to have been at the time. Nos. 
2, 3, 5, and 6 are all dated from " Stran" or, as it is spelt in 
one letter, " Stron" in Lochaber. It was, undoubtedly, from the 
same place also and not, as stated by Napier, from Struan, in 
Blair-Atholl that Dundee's letters of 15th and 19th July, 1689, 
to Lord Murray were written. In the " Life and Times of 
Dundee" Napier states that Dundee (about the middle of July, 
1689) "established his quarters at Struan, the stronghold of the 
loyal Robertson, situated on the opposite side of the Garry from 
Atholl's castle." This is certainly a mistake on the part of 
Napier, arising in all probability from his want of accurate know- 
ledge of the district through which Dundee traversed at the time, 
and of the similarity in the old spelling and pronunciation of 
" Stroan" or " Strone " in Lochaber, and " Strowan" or " Struan," 
in Blair-Atholl. ' This appears clear from the postscript to Dun- 
dee's letter to Cluny of 22nd July, 1689 (No. 6 of the series), in 
which he says : " In answer to yours, you and your friends are 
to meet me to-morrows night (without faill) at Garva." Garva is 
in the parish of Laggan, in Badenoch, and Dundee was on. 
his way at the time from Lochaber to Blair in Atholl. His 
last letter to Cluny is dated from Blair Castle, on 26th July, just 
the day, or probably the evening, before the eventful battle of 
Killiecrankie, where the devoted and heroic leader received " his 
death wound." 

1. VISCOUNT DUNDEE to CLUNY, dated 19th May, 1689. 

Sir, I hear M[ajor] G(eneral) McKay has been by threats- 
and promises indevoring to engadge you in his rebellion against 
our Laufull Suverain King James, but, I knou your constant 

222 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Loyalty your honor and your conscience will secur you against 
such proposalls. I have nou received Letters from Yrland 
(Ireland) by which I am seur nothing but want of fair wynd can 
hinder the landing of a considerable force in this contrey from 
thence, and that the King will be with us very soon. In the 
meantime he is pleased to apoint me to be Lt. Gen : and comand 
the forces whereupon I am to requyr ajf honest men to attend the 
Kings Standart. I perswad my self you will not be wanting in so 
good ane occasion as this is of indevoring under God to restor our 
gracious monarch. I will not desyr you to apear in armes untill 
such time as you see us in body able to preserve you which I hop 
in God you shall in a feu days see. There is on thing I forwarn 
you of not to be alarumed with the danger they would make the 
world believe the protestant religion is in. They must make 
religion the pretext as it has been in all times of rebellion. 

I am as much concerned in the protestant religion as any man, 
and will doe my indevors to see it secured. 
I am, Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) DUNDIE. 

The foregoing letter supplies an illustration of Dundee's skill, 
as it has been said, " in the Epistolary way of writing ; for he not 
only expressed himself with great ease and plainness, but argued 
well, and had a great art in giving his thoughts in few words. 
And this chiefly appears when he had occasion to write to such 
gentlemen as he knew Mackay had been tampering with ; where 
he frequently not only answers all that was then pled in favour of 
the Revolution, but also lays before them the duty and obedience 
they owed to King James, as their natural sovereign, with great 
perspicuity and strength of argument, in the compass of a small 
page or two." 

2. VISCOUNT DUNDEE to CLUNY, dated " Stroan," July 14th, 1689. 

Sir, I have just now received a letter from Colonell Cannon 
then abt the Castle of Dowart in Mull giving ine ane account of 
. his arrivall there the twelvth, and that the Kings shippes had 
brought along a great number of officers with a considerable body 
of men ammunition and armes the particulars he refers till 
meeting, when he is to deliver me his Majesties letters. He gives 
account of the defeat of the Scotes fleet. They fell upon the two 
Glasgow friggots killed both the Captains, taken the shippers and 
have all the rest of the men prisoners. He tells me likways that 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest. 223 

Dairie (Derry) is certainly taken, and the French Fleet is att sea, 
and the first newes we will hear will he the King's landing in 
ye west. The men of warr are by this time in Ireland, to attend 
that service, so with the asistance of Almighty God we will now 
in a verie short time see our Gracious King restored to the Throne 
-of his Ancestors. Wherefore tis high time for you to draw to 
armes, which I desire you to do with all your men and folowers, 
arid I shall give you notice where to join us. 

I am, Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

(Signed) DUNDIE. 

Sir, this I wryt to you to be comunicat to all the gentrey of 
Eadenoch, so call them togither for from the head to the foot I 
will spair non that Joyns not. The gentrey must march them- 
selves, and I expect 400 men and no expenses will be allowed. 
Mclntosh, Grants, and all must come out. 

3. VISCOUNT DUNDEE TO CLUNY, dated " Stron," July 18th, 1689 

Sir, I need not say much because the bearer can tell you all 
the newes. There is a regiment come from Yrland (Ireland) and 
74 officers beseyds 35 barel of pouder ball match and flints, with 
severall other provisiones with tuo ships they have left to us. I 
have a letter all writen with the King's oun hand asseuring me of 
mor assistance imediatly, and he is just ready to land. The 
french fleet having bate the dutch and keeped the inglish in. 
The french have 15,000 men aboard and 30,000 camped at 
Dunkerk mating only if the King has use for them. 

The parlements of ingland and Scotland ar all by the ears 
amongst themselves D[uke] Hamilton was cheased. D[ukeJ 
Gordon is treacherously imprisoned after all, and many other 
nobles, such opressiones wer never heared of and must be shaken 
of. AH mankynd almost nou beggs our asistance and you will 
see a great apearance. All behynd you ar here saive M'cklowd 
who is coming E[arl] Seaforth is to land in his own contrey, and 
has undertaken to rease 3 regiments. I dessein to march on 
Saturday or Mimday. I would not have delayed so long had it 
not been that the Yrish (Irish) forces could not conveniently cross 
from mull because of the great wynds. I expect you will have 
all your contrey in armes on rnunday, and I shall send you word 

224 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

where to Joyn us. Nobody offers to sit my sumonds so I expect 
that you will not. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) DUNDIE. 

This I desyr you will comimicat to the rest of the gentry of 
the contrey and befor Sundays night. Lait me have your positive 
answer in wryt not by proxie and that signed or I will not notice it. 


Sir, I send you here a proclamation and a copie of the King's 
instructions. You will see thereby hou you oght to walk. The 
french fleet is nou com betuixt Scotland and yrland (Ireland). 
We expect the King's Landing or troops from him evry day. I 
expect to hear from you what M[ajor] G[eneral] Makay is lyk 
to doe. I can be tuyce as strong as ever when I please 
I am, Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) DUNDIE. 

Any word you have a mynd to send to me you may cause 
delyver it to Alex. Mcdonald who keep gaird in Glenroy. Lait 
the rest of your friends see this proclamation. 

5. VISCOUNT DUNDEE to CLUNY, dated "Stroan," July 20, 1689. 

Sir. You hear what is fallen out in breamar. The Atholl men 
ar resolved to stand by them and both have gent to me for relief. 
I am ready to asist all honest men. It is nou no mor time to 
look on when all your nighboors ar ingadged. I asseur you it 
will prove your uter ruin if you doe; so you will doe well to drawe 
to armes or be looked on as rebelles. If you sit this Sumonds 
you shall not be often troubled with mor letters from me so I 
desyr a positive answer and I requyr you to call the contrey and 
intimat this to them. The man that corns from you is honest 
but I believe he mynds not what he says for I know a great many 
things he tells me not to be treu. Darie (Derry) is certenly taken 
by storm last week. Shomberg has refused to head the P [rince] 
of Orange armey for fear of loosing his honor with new troops that 
will run for it. I expect the landing evry minut. 
I am Sir 

Your humble Servant 

(Signed) DUNDIE, 

Gleanings -from Cluny Charter Chest 225 

That McKintosh is a lying rogue. The D [uke] of Gordon 
gave him no comision to forbid you to ryse. I spok with on[e] that 
sawe [him] on Thursday last -and was in the castle as well as 
McKintosh. This Sir I desyr you will acquaint the con trey of 
and when he came first he said no such thing. 

6. VISCOUNT DUNDEE to CLUNY, dated "Stroan," 22 July, 1689. 

Sir, Our people coming from this countrey which doeth not 
abound in provisions will want meat when they come into 
Badinoch. I am unwilling that they should go loose in your 
countrey (to seek provisions as they did last) for fear of ruining 
it, wherefore I send yow this advertisment that you may cause 
piovisions come in again to morous night near to the place of 
Clunie, for fiveteen hunder men for two dayes. The rest of our 
men are provided. If yow fail in this lett the blaim of all the 
dissorders that shall be comitted be upon yow. These who bring 
in the provisions shall be fully satisfyed for them. I expect that 
the country will be raidy in arms to join us seeing Marr and 
Atholl are immediatly to do it, and I may say almost all benorth 
Tay and a good pairt besouth, so now is the time if ever, for to 
show yourselves loyall men. I pray yow force me not, to do 
things to yow, against my inclination. 

I am Sir 
Your assured freend and humble servant 

(Signed) DUNDIB. 

In answer to yours yow and your friends are to meet me 
tomorows night (without faill) at Garva. 

Sir, bak these Letters and send them to the most considerable 
of the gentrey of Badenoch. 

7. VISCOUNT DUNDEE to CLUNY, dated " Blair Castle," July 26, 


Sir, My Lord Muray is retyred doun the contrey. All the Atholl 
men have left them saive Stratherel, Achintully, and Baron Read 
Straloch, and they will not byd my doun coming to morou. The 
rest of the heritors will be here to morou. They will joyn us, and 
I supose to morou you will have ane answer so if you have a 
mynd to preserve yourself and to serve the King be in armes to 


226 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

moron that when the letter comes you may be here in a day. 
All the world will be with us blissed be God. 

I am, Sir, 
Your most humble Servant, 

(Signed) DUNDIE. 
My service to all the loyall gentrey of baddnoch. 

The immediately preceding autograph letter of which a 
fac-simile is here given is particularly interesting, as being 
probably the last one written by Dundee, with the excep- 
tion of his letter to King James giving a brief account 
of the battle of Killiecrankie. In the "Life and Times" 
of Dundee it is stated that " it is uncertain whether 
Dundee slept in Blair Castle on the night of the 26th, or 
only arrived there early in the morning of the 27th (as stated in 
Lochiel's Memoirs), which was the day of the battle." His last 
letter to Cluny clearly proves that he arrived at Blair Castle on 
the 26th, the day before the battle, and must have slept there 
that night. 

Browne, in his " History of the Highlands" (vol. II., page 156), 
says that " Dundee, who had been duly advertised of Mackay's 
motions, had descended from the higher district of Badenoch into 
Athole on the previous day, with a force of about two thousand five 
hundred men, of whom about one-fifth part consisted of the Irish, 
which had lately landed at Inverlochy under Brigadier Cannon. 
Some of the clans which were expected had not yet joined, as the day 
appointed for the general rendezvous had not then arrived, but as 
Dundee considered it of paramount importance to prevent Mackay 
from establishing himself in Athole, he did not hesitate to meet 
him with such an inferior force;, amounting to little more than 
the half of that under Mackay." 

In a footnote on page 57 of the Grameid (Book II.), quoted on 
page 204, it is stated that Dundee, in his march from Fort- 
Augustus by the Pass of Corryarrick to Badenoch, in May, 1689, 
succeeded in " engaging most part of the men of note to be ready 
at a call to join in his master's service" and that he " found the 
Macphersons very keen and hearty in their inclinations for that 
service." There appears to be no room for doubt that in his sub- 
sequent march from Lochaber to Blair, in July following, he was 
met by the Chief (Duncan Macpherson of Cluny) and his " friends," 
at Garva in Badenoch, on the 23rd of that month, in accordance 
with the request contained in Dundee's letter from Strone to' 

Gleanings from Gluny Charter Chest 227 

Cluny the previous day. At that meeting it was evidently 
arranged that the Macphersons should join Dundee, immediately 
on receiving orders to that effect. This is borne out by the terms 
of Dundee's letter to Cluny of 26th July, written from Blair 
Castle. It is clear that Cluny could not have received the letter 
referred to by Dundee and consequently could not give effect to 
the instructions in that letter until after the battle .of Killiecrankie 
took place the following day. But that the Macphersons, like 
other Highland clans, espoused the cause of King James, and com- 
plied with Dundee's orders, is abundantly evident. Browne, in 
his History (vol. II., p. 176), states that "on arriving at the Braes 
of Mar, Cannon" (Dundee's successor in the command of King 
James' forces) "was joined by the Farquharsons, the Erasers, the 
Gordons of Strathdown and Glenlivet, and by two hundred of the 


The next in order are four letters from Dundee's opponent at 
the Battle of Killiecrankie, Hugh Mackay of Scourie, Major- 
general of the Forces of William and Mary. In the " History of 
his own Times," by Bishop Burnet, Mackay 's contemporary, the 
Bishop speaks of him as "a general officer who had served long in 
Holland with great reputation, and who was the piousest man I 
ever knew in a military way, was sent down to command the 
army in Scotland. He was one of the best officers of the age, 
when he had nothing to do but to obey and execute orders, for he 
was both diligent, obliging, and braye, but he was not so fitted to 
command. His piety made him too apt to mistrust his own 
sense, and to be too tender or rather fearful in anything where 
there might be a needless effusion of blood." Macaulay, the great 
apologist of the alien Prince of Orange and his Whig supporters, 
characterises Mackay as " distinguished by courage of the truest 
temper, and by a piety such as is seldom found in soldiers of 

Undoubtedly Mackay was a brave and distinguished soldier. 
But in view of the disclosures in his subsequent letters to the Duke 
of Hamilton and Lord Melville, the terms of his letter to Cluny of 
21st May, 1689, savour surely, to some extent at least, of fanatical 
zeal. In judging the character of Mackay, as well as that of 
Dundee, regard must, of course, be had to the very turbulent 
times in which they lived, and the fierce and uncontrollable 
animosities of the opposing factions. When the Whig forces 

228 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

wore in the ascendant, after Dundee's death, or when opportunity 
occurred, it is abundantly evident that Mackay, with all his piety, 
did not hesitate to recommend or commit acts as cruel and 
oppressive as were ever proved to have been perpetrated by his 
great antagonist". In a letter to the Duke of Hamilton, dated 
from Elgin on 27th June, 1689, Mackay does not scruple to 
suggest that some of the adherents of King James should be put 
" to the torture," and he earnestly pleads that the " law allows it." 
Then again we have his own statement, to the effect that he carried 
fire and sword through fertile tracts of country in the north, and 
rendered houseless hundreds of poor Highlanders his own kith and 
kin while similar devastations on the part of the Jacobites were 
comparatively insignificant. As already indicated, Dundee strongly 
disapproved of such wholesale ravages, and remonstrated in very 
severe terms with Macdonald of Keppoch for the burning in 1689, 
without any authority, of Dunachton, the old seat of the family of 
Mackintosh, overlooking Loch Insh. In a letter to Lord Melville, 
dated 26th August, ] 690, when Dundee was in his grave, Mackay 
triumphantly boasts that he had " burnt twelve miles of a very 
fertile Highland country (Strathdee), and at least twelve or 
fourteen hundred houses, but had no time to go up the length of 
Brae mar." 

In connection with Mackay's allusions, in one of his letters to 
Cluny, to " Papists," it is instructive to find that even before the 
year 1570 almost all the parishes in the diocese of Moray had 
Protestant religious teachers. Except where the influence of the 
Gordon family prevailed, all adhered firmly to Protestant principles 
from the very first. " Among the Highland clans," says Shaw, the 
historian of Moray, "the Erasers, Mackintoshes, Grants, Mac- 
phersons, Macgillivrays, scarce any Papists are to be found. Even 
in the country of Badenoch, though all are either vassals or 
tenants of the" Duke of Gordon, there are few if any of that 
religion. This has been owing to the gentry and chiefs of clans 
who early embraced the Reformation, and both encouraged and 
promoted it in their lands." Devoted as the successive Cluny 
Chiefs were to the Jacobite cause, they all along, from the 
Reformation downwards, steadfastly adhered to the Protestant 
faith, notwithstanding the influence of the Gordons as superiors of 
the Lordship of Badenoch in the opposite direction. 

Much as Mackay contributed in the way of establishing 
William and Mary on the British throne, his important services 
were but very poorly and grudgingly rewarded. He commanded 
the British at the Battle of Steinkirk on 3rd August, 1692, where 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest. 229 

he was killed and three thousand of his troops were lost. Accord- 
ing to Bishop Burnet, Mackay, having been ordered to a post 
which he saw could not be maintained, expressed an adverse 
opinion as to the proposed course of action, but the former orders 
being confirmed, he went on saying only " The will of the Lord 
be done." 

Earnest as they were, Mackay's attempts to persuade Cluny of 
the time to join the Whig forces proved unavailing. Here are 
transcripts of his four letters to Cluny : 

1. GENERAL MACKAY to CLUNY, dated Elgin, 6th May, 1689. 

You are required to assemble your men together upon the 
Laird of Graunt's advertisment as Sharif of the shire and having 
perticullar warant therto from the Estates of this Kingdom, and 
with them follow such directions and orders as the said Laird 
shall give you for the present service, as you shall be answerable 
vpon your highest peril for all things that shall fall out contrarie 
to the interest of the service by your non-concurraiice and dis- 

Given at Elgin the 6th May 1689. 

(Signed) H. MACKAY. 

For his maties. speciall service to the Laird of Cluny, Chief of 
the Macphersons in Badenoch. 

2. GENERAL MACKAY to CLUNY, dated Inverness, 21 May, 1689. 

Sr., I cannot beleeve you so much an ennemy to your eternall 
and temporall happynesse, as to joyn with a compnie of papists 
(or wors then papists such as sacrifise all that ought be of value 
to men of raison and pietie, which consists in the mantenance 
of Religion and liberty) to labour to overturn the begun deliver- 
ance which God hath in his mercy wrought this far for vs. My 
advyce then is that you order your following to draw to a head, 
and vpon the least advertisment, which you can easily have, send 
all their good movable out of the way, I mean their cattell, 
assuring you that what litle harme you can suffer in the King's 
and Kingdom's service shall be richly repaired, besydes the honour 
and satisfaction of conscience you shall gaine in hazarding freely 
and cheerfully all things for the mantenance of a cause, which by 
the blessing of the author thereof, and in all humane probabilitie 
will cary it in spyt of all opposition ; you shall be pleased to 

230 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

gire me speedy notice of your resolution, that I may take mesures 
accordingly, assuring yourself of all the service which shall ly in 
the power of 

Your most humble and affectioned servant, 

(Signed) H. MACKAY. 


3. GENERAL MACKAY to CLUNY, dated Coulnakyle, 27th 
June, 1690. 

Sir, Sr Thomas Livingstoune haveng allready acquanted you 
that I was to call for sheep and cowes for the vse of the Army, 
when I encamp in Badenough, I doubt not but they are allready 
provyded, so I desyre that you may have two hundred cowes and 
six hundred sheep at Rivan in Badenough again Sunday at twelve 
a'cloak being the 29 instant and you shall have ready money for 
them. If you faill in this I assure you I will turne the army 
loose upon the country, who will not spaire neither houses nor 
comes. Take this advertisment from 

Your assured ffriend, 

(Signed) H. MACKAY. 
Att the Camp att Coulnakyle, the 27 June, 1690. 

4. GENERAL MACKAY to CLUNY, dated Edinb r -> 20th of 
October, 1690. 

Sir, I Receaved your letter giveing account of the Devasta- 
tions made by the fforces latly in Badenoch, for which they had 
no ordor neither from the Goverment nor from me. I am sorrie 
that it is fallen out, but yett I cannot but blame your own con- 
duct as the occassion therof, who wold not come into me, when 
I was in the countrey, and take the protection of the Goverment; 
and mine to secure you from such accidents, withall I am informed 
by Collonell Cuninghame that it was the scruples of the Gentill 
men of the Countrey to take the oaths ordained by law which 
brought in the fForces after they had been informed that the 
enimie was dispersed. However in tyme to come I shall contribute 
what I can that they shall not be used otherwayes then the rest 
of their Maties good subjects, and make no question (provyded 
they show themselves weell affected to the service) that when 
things are come to a perfect setlement that their loss shall be 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 231 

considered upon application to the Goverment, which is all at pre- 
sent from 

Your very affectionat servant, 

(Signed) H. MACKAT. 


We have next five letters and a commission from General 
Cannon, who joined the forces of Dundee with a contingent from 
Ireland, and who, on the death of Dundee, assumed the command 
of the army of King James. Napier, in hig "Memoirs of Dundee," 
characterises Cannon as "the miserable second in command to 
Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie, whose imbecility ruined 
the King's cause in Scotland." It will be seen that in Cannon's 
last letter, Cluny is authorised to raise for the King's service 
"the Mackintoshes, as weal as Thos leving upon the Duke of 
Gordon's Interest." Cannon signs his name "Canan," and it 
appears to have been spelt indifferently u Caiman," "Cannon," and 

1. GENERAL CANNON to CLUNY, dated Dunan, July 4 [1689.] 

Sir, Being com this lenth with the Viscont of Dundee and 
several oficiers and gentlemen with us on purpos to rais all the 
Kings friends that will embrace this oportunity, and hath found 
euery on hear about extrem chearful and willing to Joyn us, 
Laying asyd that we have good promises from a great part of the 
nobility and gentry who was not engadged befor, Therfor I hope 
that as yow have still evidenced your loyalty at all tyms, so now 
yow will be pleased to continue, which no man that knos yow will 
dout of, and send to joyne me at bal wither al the fensable men 
yow can. I am sur the measurs that is taken at this tym in al 
apearance will answer the expectation. I nead not say befor yow 
what extreamety this undertaking will put our Enemys to pro- 
vyded things be don quickly. Expecting your speedy answer, I 
Remain, Sr, 

Your Real humble Servant, 


Sir, I desyr that favor that yow will be pleasd to send 
Inclosd to Kepoch and let me kno what Inteligence you have of 

232 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

2. GENERAL CANNON to CLUNY, dated Blair, 20th July, 1689. 

Sr., I se a Leter of yours directed to my Lord Dundy. I fynd 
you complain of som injury don you by Locheel's men. Sr I 
expect you wil joyn me with yoifr men iinediatly and you shal 
find al justice I may inable. 

I am, Sir, 

Your humble servand, 

(Signed) ALL. CANAN. 
July 20, 

3. GENERAL CANNON to CLUNY, dated Carandal, 
23rd December, 1689. 

Sr, 1 received yours of the 27 of Novr. I am extreamly 
glad to hear of your Readines and yow may ashur yourself that 
with the first ocasion that I writ to the King that I shal Repre- 
sent your case so that you may have every favor that any other 
gentlemen hath had 'in his con trey. As for news just now I have 
the sure confirmation of Shomberk's total defait whic is al at 
present from, 


Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) ALL. CANAN. 

27th December, 1689. 

Allexr. Canan Brigadier General and Commander in Chief of 
His Majesties forces in the Kingdom of Scotland. 

Thes ar to authoriz and warante Mackpharson of Cluiny to 
Rais for the King's service The Makintoshes as weal Thes 
leving upon the Duke of Gordon's Interest as Thes holding of the 
Duke of Gordon within The Interest of badenoche. Dated at 

(Signed) ALL. CANAN. 
Dec. 27, 1689. 

5. GENERAL CANNON to CLUNY, dated Carendal, 29th Jany. [1690]. 

Sr,- Least my first letre might fail I haw given you the 
trouble of this second to let you kno that this Rendevous is to be 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest 233 

the 8 of february at Dalmacomar. Therfor I doe not doubt but 
vow will be in Readings with your men against that tyme. The 
E. of Dunfermling writ you al the news, to whom I pray give my 
humble service. 

I am, Sr, 

Your most humble Servant, 


C 6. GENERAL CANNON to CLUNY, dated Lochaber, 27th May [1690]. 

Sr, I do not dout but M. Gen. buchan hath giwen you ane 
acount of the good condition of our Masters afaires and hath 
lykways sent the double of his leter to al of you Chiefs of Clanes. 
Ther is also a Comision from the King to you. Pray be pleased 
to let me hear from you what way it may be sent. So giving you 
thanks for your kynd Entertainment when I sawe you last, 
I am, Sr, 

Your Real humble Servant, 



The Earl of Dunfermiine joined Dundee with a troop of horse 
which he commanded at the Battle of Killiecrankie. In 1690 he 
was outlawed. Following King James to St Germains, he had the 
Order of the Thistle conferred upon him. He died in exile in 
1694. He signs his name, it will be seen, " Dunfermeling." 

1. THE EARL OF DUNFERMLINE to CLUNY, dated Inver^arry, 
5th April, 1690. 

Sir, I was soe misfortunat as to mis you when I came from 
Badinoch and you may remember that at my parting with you it 
was your promise to do all you could to get out the people of 
Badinoch and now I having spoke to Major Generall Buchan 
thereanent he hath ordered me to command you upon your 
alegiance to have all the men in readines upon Wednesday or 
Thursday at the furthest for if they doe not joyne us against that 
time we will pay them a visit in the buy going which will be 
'about the time above mentioned if they doe rise and send out 
their best men it will both stop our quartering upon them and if 
yt does not doe they may asure themselves of being burnt just 

234 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

upon the backe of it. Soe hoping you will hinder anything of this 
nature both for the Duke of Gordon's and your own sake. 
I am, Sir, 

Your very humble seruant, 

You will send an express with yo^ur answer. 

2. THE EARL OF DUNFERMLINB to CLUNY, dated Gordon Castle r 
30th April, 1690. 

Sir, Having often heard of your forwardness in ye King's 
seruice hath occasioned me in the Duke of Gordon's name to gvie 
you this trouble desiring that you and your friends may be in 
readincs upon twentie four hours advertisrnent with ther best 
armes to joyn with his grace's men for the King's seruice where 
you shall be attended by him who is in all sincerity, 

Your most humble and obedient seruant, 

At meeting I shall show you my warrant for this. 

3. THE EARL OF DUNFERMLINE to CLUNY, dated Invernesse, 
3rd May, 1689. 

Sir, I send these desiring ye may Imediatlie convein the- 
haill Badenoch Men and keip them on foot togidder and ye shal 
be advertised when and where to march. Let the number of men 
be proportionable to the number of Daachs, and take the same 
methods for their output that were taken formerlic. Be diligent 
herein if ye would obledge 

Your assured freind to serve you, 


List the Mackintosh Men and gett them out as formerly in 
the same etent wt yours. 

4. THE EARL OF DUNFERMLINE to CLUNY, dated Invergary, 
27th May, 1690. 

Sir, I have sent you hear inclosed a double of the King's 
letter to the Clans and Generall officiers. I am likewayes desired' 
to show you that there are generall blank commissions come over 
and that if you be as ready to except of ane commission for the 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest. 235 

King's seruice, as I think you should, you shall have it any time 
the nixt week you pleas. I doe very sudinly expect to hear from ye 
Duke of Gordon who I am confident will be hear in a short time. Tt 
is my owne opinion that you should writ to Major G. Buchan and 
likewayes too Cannan and thank them for ye getting you ane com- 
mission and not refuse to except of it for in a few dayee you will 
see more then some doe believe. Soe not doupting of your returne I 
shall say noe more but yt 

I am, Sir, 

Your humble servant, 



dated Delradie, 6th May, 1690. 

Sir Thomas Livingstone represented an old cadency of the 
family of Kilsyth, and was for a considerable time in the Dutch 
service. He served under Mackay, and commanded the Whig- 
forces at the skirmish between them and a small remnant of the 
adherents of King James, which took place at Cromdale on 1st 
May, 1690. It was he, who, after receiving the inhuman order 
from the Master of Stair for the carnage at Glencoe, expressed, in 
a letter to' Lieut.-Col. Hamilton, his satisfaction that Glencoe 
had not taken the oath within the time prescribed. At 
the same time he urged Hamilton, as "fair occasion" offered, 
for showing that his garrison was of some use, and as 
the order from the Court was positive, not to spare any 
that had not come timeously in, and desiring that he would 
begin with Glencoe, and save nothing of what belongs to 
them, " but not to trouble the Government with prisoners," or, in 
other words, to spare no lives. 

In the following letter it will be seen that, as in the case of 
General Cannon's orders, on the Jacobite side the number " of your 
best, and best armed men," which Cluny was ordered to raise, on 
the Whig side were "to consist of Macentos's [Mackintoshes], 
Macfers's [Macphersons], and Grant's." 

Sr, You are hereby ordered in the King's neain to rais the 
numbr of a Hundred and twenty of your best and best armed men 
with aigt days food out of the Lordship of badinog and to send 
them with sufficient Comanders upon their head to-morrow's nigt 
at Balachastel [Castle Grant] being the 7th instant. These men are 

236 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

to Consist out of Macentos's and Macfers's, and Grant's. This you 
are ordered upon your hyghest peril. 

Given at Delradie 6 May. 


For theer Majesty's service to Cluenie Mct'erson. 


General Buchau was of the family of Auchmacoy, Aberdeen- 
shire, who were remarkable for their steady loyalty to the 
Stewarts. He was the last officer who had the chief command of 
King James's forces in Scotland after the Revolution of 1688. 
Born about the middle of the seventeenth century, he entered the 
army when very young, and after serving in subordinate ranks in 
France and Holland, he was in 1682 appointed by Charles the II. 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1686 by James the VII. Colonel of the 
Earl of Mar's regiment of foot in Scotland. He received the 
thanks of the Privy Council for various services, and in 1689 was 
promoted by King James to the rank of Major-General . After the 
fall of Dundee at Killiecrankie, and the subsequent repulse of his 
successor, Colonel Cannon, at Dimkeld, he was appointed by King 
James, who was then in Ireland, Commander-in-Chief of all the 
Jacobite forces in Scotland. He was defeated by the Whig 
forces, under Sir Thomas Livingstone, at Cromdale, in May, 1690. 
He is supposed to have been present at the battle of Sheriffmuir, 
with the Earl of Mar's forces, in November, 1715. 

1. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY (undated). 

Sir, I ame cum hier by the King's order to tret wt the Chieffs 
off the Clans and youe being on I dessyre that ye maye have your 
proportion off men Redje aganst the 1 2 off Marche Your number is 
a 100 men that is put upon youe by our Cunsell of Ware. Iff ye 
wantt a Colls. Comision I oblige mysellff to procure on to youe 
provyding you can Rais on Reginientt. I will doe youe all the servis 
I can but have a care off bad Cunselle. 

I ame, your humbell servant, 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAN. 

For the laird off Clunje at badenoche. 

2. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY Sunday (undated). 

SIR, We haue spared youe as long as we can and noue my 
master's servis requyrs that youe may joyn us tusday nixt 'srt out 

Gleanings from Gluny Charter Chest. 237 

faill and to bring 6 days provisione wt youe. So houping ye was 
your sellff, and peoplle so weille that ye wiell not faille off this. 
I ame, Sir, 

Your assured frind to serve youe, 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAN. 

3. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY, dated Inverlochi, March 
18th, 1690. 

Sir, This is to lett youe knoue that I am informed the want 
off the King's Coemision kepts youe from jorning his Majestie's 
forces. I confes it is not Rytt to be soe but I doe oblieg mysellff 
on my honore youe shall have it for a Coll. werie sine, and I ame 
sure my good frind the Duk of gordon wiell not be displeased wt 
youe considering houe affers stands at pressentt. All the Chieffs 
off the Clans ar to Bys werie sine so we all dessyre that ye wiell 
haue your proportion off men Redie against the first off Aprylle 
nixt precisly. Your number is only to be 200 at this tyme. I 
haue Receved orders to Requyre everi subject upon ther alegens. 
to joyn the King's ost vnder Jthe paine off hy treson so I should be 
sorie that badinoche should be on off thos cuntras shoulld Refus 
ther master's coemands. I lyeff all the Rest to the berar and 

I am yours 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAN, 

4. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY, dated Inverlochy, 
31st March, 1690. 

Sir, I haue receiued yours wt your tuoe Frinds and all off 
ws is not off the opinione to giue annie tyme to noe persone noue 
when we are in the fiellds, so sir youe wielle be pleased to haue 
your men Redie imediatly or stand to your hazerd. I haid 
allways a good opinion of the badinoche men and shoulld be sorie 
to take annie misors [measures] wt youe that wille not be agrie- 
able but you may persuad yoursellues that I wielle sie my 
master's orders obeyed punctuallie and 
I ame, 

Your humbl servantt, 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAN. 

5. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY, dated Lochaber, 22nd May, 1690. 

Sir, I was informed that youe haid gon into the enamie and 
promised them all asistans but noue being informed by your 

238 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Cussing that youe wentt only to speak wt them to presserue your 
cuutrae ye can not be blemed for houewer is mester of the 
fielld the cuntrae people most submit. I haue sent youe a duble 
off the king's letter that cam wt the Marquis off Sieforthe. 1 haue 
blank Coemisions for Collonols. The berare young borlem wielle 
inform youe from the King off all affers. I houpe that this last 
flvtte wille not discureg your frinds for iff" all haid don as sume off 
the badenoche men did it. voulld have gon othervays ; so 
I ame, 

Your humbl servant, 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAW. 

6. GENERAL BUCHAN to CLUNY, dated 8th June, 1690. 

Sir, I receued yours and thinks itt werje Resonabelle what 

ye wroattin the circumstanses we are in for the hieds off the Clans 
are to mit wt broedallbun as to ane cesation off Armes. Whoue it 
wiell goe I knoue nott as yett. The Macgrigors hes taken 7 
prisoners whiche 1 haue sentt for to Reliueff 7 off yurs. Soe send me 
a list off your men's names and that frind of yours thatt wentt off 
the fielld wt me to Stradoun T vielle doc; him a faivore if I cane./ 
Lett me knoue when the enamie curns and what is becum off 
young borlame, and 

I ame, Sir, 

Your affectionate friend and servantt, 

(Signed) THO. BUCHAN. 

7. LETTER, backed, in hand of the period, " M. G. BUCHAN to Sir 
AEN. M'PHERSON," but addressed " For Mr Villiamson at I., 
and signed " Ja. forbes." The letter is undoubtedly in 
Buchan's handwriting. 

"Janr. 3 [1691]. 

Sir, I receued yours and thanks yow verie kyndly for your 
good vosses I pray youe giue my kyndly respects to Clunie, and 
doe not lett him vrong him selflf for his kyndnes to ws. I beliue 
his men ville not feght villingly against ws. As to our resoulition 
ve ville haue a capitolation for glengeries f rinds and foullours as 
Locheyell and Kepache hes got and passes. For my selff, ma. g. 
Canon, and the officers that hes a mynd to go abrod, othervays, iff 
this be refused ve ville goe to all extrematy, and I beliue our 
euamies knous ws, so ville that they ville not dout off this. Ther 
ar stille cumplents cuming against youe for your coraspondans v fc 

Gleanings from C/uny Charter Chest 239 

any lord mellvine. Ye may easalie gis vhat airt they cum from. 
I pray yow [word illegible] your uories that youe haue, and I anie 
Your assured frind arid Servantt 



It was Sir John Hill, then Governor of Fort- William, who, in 
accordance with the instructions he received from Sir John 
Dairy mple, the Master of Stair, sent the sanguinary order to 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, which resulted in the infamous 
massacre of Glencoe. 

After the close of the war of 1689-91, Cluny laid down 
.his arms and took the oath of allegiance to William and 
Mary. Neither he, however, nor any of the other Highland 
chiefs did so until they had previously obtained permission to that 
effect from King James, for which, in the negotiations with 
the Whig commanders, they had expressly stipulated. Still 
.suspected of being secretly favouring the cause of King James, 
Cluny was in 1696 imprisoned and kept in restraint for a time in 
the garrison at Fort-William. In May of that year, his wife being 
"extreamlie ill and at ye Poynt^of Death/' Colonel Hill, as will be 
seen from the letters, treated him with no little respect and con- 
sideration, and gave him liberty to go and see her, Clnny having 
first granted a bond for .5000 Scots for his return to imprison- 
.inent " how soone his wife mends or expires." 

1. Sm JOHN HILL to CLUNY, dated Inverness, 12th May, 1690. 

S r > The kinde acquaintance I had wth yor prdecessors and 
some with yourselfe as well as with all the rest of the Gent of 
Badenough dois oblige me to all the kindnes and service for yow 
.and them yts possibly in my power. And hauing now a power in 
my hands from the King I would gladly extend it to ye uttermost 
for the Good of my freinds and if yow please to give me the favor 
of a visit (because I cannot come to yow) yow shall finde I will 
not only be Glad to see you, but very ready to serve yow. I would 
(because I know more of matters then most others doe) sett yow 
right by a true information of things by wch you will know the 
better how to Governe yourselfe to ye best advantage. You know 
or at Least may have heard of my former Conversation in the 
highlands, and wth how much truth and honesty I mannaged 
myself towards them and that I never deceived or broke with ony 
man. You may come safe to me Either into this town or neire it. 

240 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

You have here my hand for itt. I am concerned for ye Posture the 
highlands are now in being the highway to utter Ruin. I would 
gladly save them it being (by my own intreaty) put into my 
Power by ye King if they please to meet my proposalls of peace 
and quietness if not twill be Hum and vtter destruction. For old 
freindship Let me see you and have some Discourse with you 
who am, 

Your true freind j^nd humble servant, 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

2. SIR JOHN HILL to CLUNY, dated Inverness, 17th June, 1690. 

S r Out of my old kindnes to your countrey I have procured 
an order for ye release of ye men yt are Prisoners in the Castle 
(whose names are after written) therefore desire yow to advertise 
your freinds to come and set Cation for their peaceable demeanor 
in tyme comeinge, and seeing I have undertaken for the peacable 
carryage of ye men of Badcnoch, T desire yow and Dalraddy and as 
many of the best of yr countrey (as conveniently can) may goe to- 
the Major Genii when he comes to yre countrey upon his march to 
Loquhabbor and Let him know yor peaceable inclinations, and 
alsoe yt I advised yow soe to doe and Let none of your people be 
seen in Armes when the Army marcheth yt way, also waite on Sr 
Tho. Livingston who will be freindly to you. I have written to 
Dall-Raddy to ye same effect. The King is goii for Ireland from 
whence I have late intelligence yt ye Irish desert King James 
apace. 1 beleive your neighbours in Lochabbor hang of to see 
the Issue of yt war in Ireland wch they will soone find to their 
disadvantage. Let me hear from yow as soone as you can, and 
aboute the prisoners. 

I am, S r > 

Yor very affecconate servant, 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

The Prisoners' Names. 

Duncan M'Pherson. Wm. M'Lelan. 

Alexander M'Pherson. Allexr. Stuart. 
Duncan Roy M'Phersoun. Donald Downe. 

John M'Pherson. James Cummin. 

Donald M'Pherson. John M'Laurine. 

John M'Inish. Evan M'beth. 
John M'Ranald. 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest 241 

3. SIR JOHN HILL to CLUNY, dated Kuthven Castle, 
29th June, 1690. 

S r > I twice gave you advice to meete the Major Generall who 
as well as Sir Thomas Levingston expect you as they did others of 
ye countrey and tis ill taken yt none appear, alsoe hee sent yester- 
day to yow aboute a quantitie of cowes and sheep for wh hee payes 
Ready money as he did in Strathspey wh if he get not I fear heel 
burn the countrey. I have perswaded him to take nothing amisse 
because his warning was short, and he will be sattisfid if those 
cowes and sheepe meete him to-morrow about Brecahe. If not I 
feare the countrey will suffer as well in poynt of losse as reputation 
because the Army much wants them. I pray if you send let me 
have two cowes and one sheep. All will be justley and presently 
paid. Having sd this I need say noe more, but you wrong yorselfe 
exceedingly if you appear not. 
I am, 

Your affectionate servt., 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

4. SIB JOHN HILL to CLUNY, dated Fort- William, 
5th August, 1690. 

S r > I am sorry to find you soe young, or so Conceited a man 
as to refuse the Advice of those who are yer freinds and love yow. 
You know how many tymes I writ yow to appear to ye Major 
Genii, and of wt use it would be to yow and the wholl Countrey of 
Badeiioch ; yt neither Comeing nor goeing yow would see him, tho 
your word and promise was passed to Sir Tho. Liveingston, and I 
fear the Laird of Calder may suffer on yor Acct. it being generaly 
beleived by the Major Genii and cheif officers of ye Army yt hee 
advised you to yt manage and should be full sorry (being my 
freind) yt he should be misinterpreted on yr accot by your not 
comeing in. Its believed some of the worst sort of the Brae men in 
Badenoch presumed to strip some faint and wearyed soules yt were 
not able to keepe up with his Army which he is wresolved to 
revenge upon the country, and your not appearing is the reall 
cause why Captain M'Kay is planted in the Garrison of Ruthen as 
a guard upon yt countrey, and for any other inconvenience yt may 
fall out yow may thank your selfe whose parroll is henceforth 
never to be regarded, and I am resolved since you have soe far 
slighted my freindly advice to be revenged of those Rogues in the 
brae yt stript those men, except you cause them to be delivered, 


242 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

or else you may expect to suffer for it your selfe for myne is hurt 
and wounded freindship. I expect you will doe something in 
bringing those villaines to punishmt or else take yor hassard of 
wt followes since by yor refractory humour it was all occationed. 
I'me sure in short tyme you'll have occation to repent your 
carryage or else it shall be out of ye power of 

Your gervant, 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

5. SIR JOHN HILL to CLUNY, dated Fort- William, 
27th July, 1693. 

Sir, Being come hence I desire yow to take the first occation 
to come to roe and only take the alleagance and signe the 
assureance as others doe, and then after I have Eaten and Drunken 
with yow and reneued old kindnes yow may return home againe 
to my Good freind yor Lady. This I assure yow is all I have to 
doe wth yow, and yor appearance here will doe yow much service 
and be an obligation upon 

Your old true freind and servt., 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

My service to yor Lady and my thanks for her last kindnes. 

6. SIR JOHN HILL [to the Gentlemen of Badenoch], dated 
Fort-William, 30th November, 1695. 

Gentn, I have yours and am very sensible of ye hardship 
Done, and further intended against yow, but can better regret itt 
then know how to helpe itt for by the complaints of some gentn of 
jor countrey joyned with Borlum and put into Grant's hands to 
magnifie them of Greivances done by the Garrison of Ruthen 
(wch they never thot fitt to acquainte me wth till I heard it from 
the secretary or else I should soone have rectified any thinge 
amisse). I say by these complts and of my too much kindnes to 
ye highlands my hands are shortened, so yt I know not but my 
interposition may doe more hurt then good, but yet I will venture 
to give you my advice presuminge you will keepe it secret. The 
truth is, there seemes to be much Peique ill will and selfe interest 
in these warme proceedinges, for at the same tyme yor people 
weere summoned all or most of the Brae of Lochabbir and Loch- 
abbir itselfe, and much of Ardgour and Morvaine were called to ye 
aame Cor* to ye numr of neere 1000, upon wh Locheil Keppach 

Gleanings from C I tiny Charter Chest 243 

and others sent Downe an Agent to luvernesse to plead for a new 
day of hearinge in regard most of them had noe tyme (after the 
sumons) to appear or to find out and bringe their men. How yt 
succeeded I cannot yet tell, but I know they sent to Edenr to 
complaine to ye Governmt of this way of procedur and of ye 
unhappie inconveniences yt may attend it, by turninge soe many 
of the countrey Loose (as this method must needs doe) I beleeve 
Locheil's sonn is by this tyme at Invernesse wth some order abt 
itt, but as yet I know not wt is done. Now [ know not what way 
you cann save yor selfes from this injury ; but by sending some 
one to ye Duke Gordon (whose interest both in this countrey, and 
yours alsoe, will be much wronged) and pray his Grace yt either 
the Govermt may be acquainted with ye Inconvenience of these 
proceedines and of ye ill consequences they may produce and get 
it stopped yt wayes, or at least that a suspention may be granted 
(for wch the reasons in yor Letter are very pregnant) and doubtles 
will prove effectuall, and in doeing this you must be full, punctuall 
.and certaine in yor information, and (if the Duke will not appear 
in it himselfe) hee will (noe Doubt) imploy his Agents. Another 
way I know not, but this must be done with all expedition or they 
will be apt to require parties from me, wh I am ordered to Give, 
or if I refuse then I migt (of ffresh) be Loaded with new com- 
plaintes. But it is your Great inconvenience to Let yor people sitt 
.a charge, and not compeir wch is yr advantage . against yow 
and they Desire noe better, and yor owne injury. I would not 
thinke itt ill advice yt Cluny or some other Did apeak with 
'Colloden, who is a powerfull man in yt Court and whom I know 
not to be soe warme in such methods as some others, this way (if you 
take it) with ye complts of like nature yt have gon from others to 
ye Government, may probabily move them to consider the case and 
Reprimand itt. But there's one thing Looks ill upon the countrey, 
yt Drumoond's son who comitted a Barbarous murder is sheltered 
by the countrey, with about 16 broken men wth him, and not 
brot to justice, it looks as if you would bring innocent blood upon 
your owne heads and upon the countrey, and this (if once Com- 
plained on at Edenbgh) will be a wrong to yr countrey. I am 
concerned yt I can helpe yow noe further then by this Advice, 
wch I hope you will follow, and I have hopes yt Good may come 
-of it who am, 


Yor very affectionate servant, 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 

244 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Whereas Duncan M'Pherson, Laird of Climy, was ordered by 
me to be kept in restrainte at this Garrison, and yt upon notice 
and sumous given to him by me to render himselfe and cause here 
and Did render his person accordiogle and hath Continued here a 
prisoner for the space of one moneth. And now being ascertained 
yt his wife is extreame ill and at ye Poynt of Death, I have given 
him Liberty to goe and see her, and I have taken bond of five 
thousand pounds Scots for his returne to imprisnmt how sooiie his 
wife mends or Expires, or sooner if I call him. This I have pre- 
sumed to Doe out of Comon charity. 

Given at ffort Wni the 6th Day of May 1696. 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 


Whereas I Duncan M'Pherson of Cluny have been ordered by 
the Government to make my appearance at ffort William and there 
to continue under Restraint until their further pleasure, and now 
my spouse being Dangerously sick and in great hazard of her Life, 
Sir John Hill, Governour of ffort William, hath granted me Liberty 
to goe home and see her upon condition of my Returning when 
called for. Therefore I hereby bind and oblige me to return how 
soon my spouse shall be in better health of body or sooner when- 
ever the said Sir John Hill shall call for me or any other in his 
name, and for the true performance hereof I bind and oblige me, 
my heirs, Exrs or Successors or Intrometters with my goods Geer 
Lands, Rents and heritages whatsomever in the penalty of five 
thousand pound Scots money to be converted to his Maities. use, 
and to be Collected and Levied out of my said Estate of Cluny, 
and for the more security consents thir presents be insert and 
Registrate in the Books of Councell and Session or any other 
Judges Books Competent within the kingdom to have the strength 
of a Decreet of any of the Lords or Judges thereof interponed 
thereto that Letters of horning and other Execons. needful may 
pass hereupon as effeers, and thereto Constitutes my prors. : 

In witness whereof I have subst these presents (written by 
Andrew Crosby Servant to the said Sir John Hill, at ffortwilliam 
the sixth day of May jajvje and ninty six years before these wit- 

Gleanings from Gluny Charter Chest- 245 

nesses Liett Charles Boss, Lieutt. Gilbert Kennedy and the said 
Andrew Crosby. 


C. Ross, Wittnes. 

ANDR. CROSBY, Witness. 

Note. Cluny's signature to the above bond was afterwards 
torn off, and the document thereby cancelled and delivered up to 

dated Fort-William, 11th July, 1696. 

Right Honble, The Laird of Cluny, beinge to goe south in 
obedience to ye charge hee got at your instance hath desired me to 
certifie you wt his circumstances have been viz., yt in Aprill when 
I sent to him by vertue of the order I had to seize his person, hee 
did voluntaryly come in and surendered himself prisoner and con- 
tinued soe a considerable tyme till his wife fallinge sick (of which 
sickness she dyed) I did give him liberty upon a bond of 500 Ibs 
sterl. to goe and see her ere she dyed, by wch bond hee was obliged 
to come here whenever I called him. I doe a.lsoe certifie yt hee tooke 
the oathes required vizt., the oath of allegeance, and signed the 
assureance, and yt hee hath been (since his first submitting to ye 
Goverment) very obedient to orders from the Goverment and 
allwayes Ready to render himselfe and hath set cation for his 
peaceable Demeanor (as himselfe will more particularly informe) 
and now comeing south in obedience to ye charge he got I pray 
on his behalf e (in respect of his circumstances wh can hardly 
admit of Longe Delay or much charge) yrby that he may Be 
favord wth as much dispatch as conveniency will admit, which is 
.all at present from 

My Lord, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) Jo. HILL. 


dated London, 13th December, 1691. 

In 1686 Sir John was appointed Lord Advocate in room of Sir 
George Mackenzie. He was a member of the Convention Parlia- 
liament held at Edinburgh in March, 1689. and was one of the 
three Commissioners sent by that Convention to London to offer 
the crown to William and Mary. In 1690 he was re-appointed 
Lord Advocate, and in 1691 was constituted one of the principal 

246 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Secretaries of State. His conduct in regard to the massacre of 
Glcncoe has branded his name with everlasting infamy. In his 
letters to the military officers in December, 1691, previous to the 
massacre, he exulted in the circumstance that as the winter was the 
only season in which the Highlanders could not escape, they could 
be easily destroyed in the " long cold nights." Apparently he con- 
templated nothing less than the total extirpation of the clans. In 
a letter to Sir Thomas Livingstone, dated January 7th, 1692, he 
says : "You know in general that the troops posted at Inverness 
and Inverlochie will be ordered to take in the house of Invergarie, 
and to destroy entirely the country of Lochaber, Lochiel's lands, 
Keppoch'e Glen gaiie's, and Glenco," and he adds, "I assure you 
your powers shall be full enough." . . . In sending Livingstone 
the instructions signed and countersigned by William of Orange 
on the llth January, " to march the troops against the rebels who 
had nut taken the benefit of the indemnity, and to destroy them 
by fire and sword," he adds as a hint to Livingstone" Just now 
my Lord Argyle tells me that Glenco had not taken the oath, at 
which I rejoice. It is a great work of charity to be exact in root- 
ing out that damnable sect, the worst of the Highlands." 
Additional instructions bearing date 16th January, and also signed 
and countersigned by the alien Prince, were sent to Livingstone, 
and in the letter containing these instructions Sir John said 
" For a just example of vengeance I entreat the thieving tribe of 
Glenco may be rooted out to purpose." 
As Sir Walter Scott has it : 

" The hand that mingled in the meal, 
At midnight drew the felon steel, 
And gave the host's kind breast to feel 

Meed for his hospitality. 
The friendly hearth that warmed that hand, 
At midnight armed it with the brand, 
That bade destruction's flames expand 

Their red and fearful blazonry." 

In 1705 Sir John was named one of the Commissioners for the 
Treaty of Union. He died suddenly on 8th January, 1707. Here 
is a transcript of his letter to Cluny : 

Sir, I am comanded by the King to writ to yovv signifnng 
his Majestie's Intention presentlie to reduce thehylanders who had 
bein in armes agt the government, and his Majestic doth desirand 
expect that yow send a companie of weell armed men with 
fourtein dayes provisiones to joyne his Majestie's forces at Invernes 
the first day of Jany and ther to obey such orders as they shall 

Gleanings from Cluny Charter Chest. 247 

receiwe from the comander of his Majestie's troopes, qrby you 
will giw a werie good evidence of yor affection for ther Majesties 
service. This is by ye Kinges order from 

Your humble servant, 

(Signed) Jo. DALRUMPLE. 
Deliwered to Cluny the 30 day of Deer., 1691. 

Inverness, llth January, 1692. 

Colonel Cunningham commanded one of the Whig regiments 
under Mackay, and took part in the engagements with the 
Jacobite forces, after the skirmish of Cromdale. The following 
letter is addressed ' To the Laird of Cluny at his house" : 

Sir, I have Received yrs and am very glad to hear yr men ar 
in redines. As for those men that ar so refractrie in sending their 
proportion of men you should comeplain to the Government of 
them that this may be markd and punished for their disobedience. 
I hope the worke is almost over and that we shall want no men at 
this, time the Highlans Generalls being disposed to leave the King- 
dom now that they can get no men to follow themselvs. Their is 
one thing you can oblige me extreamly in and that is to get me 
two or three of yr bigest sort of Dear Dogs. I know they are 
very good in that countrey. Let me have your answer with the 
first. Give my service to benecher [Banchor] and need [Nuide] 1 
with al the Rest of my acquants not forgeting yr Lady. 
I am, in hast, Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) H. CUNINGHAM. 

[As the letters from 1689 down to the close of the 17th 
century have extended to such a length, the remaining numbers, 
of the series, down to 1756, will be given in the next volume of 
the Transactions.] 

25th APRIL, 1895. 

At this meeting J. P. Grant, Esq. of Rothiemurchus, was 
elected an honorary member ; and the following gentlemen were 
elected ordinary members of the Society, viz. : Mr Donald 

1 Two Macphersons, the one of Banchor and the other of Nuide, both in 
Baden och. 

248 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Campbell, merchant, Kingussie ; Mr Alex. Mackenzie, C.E., do. ; 
Mr W. A. Martin, Beauclerc Road, London ; Mr Alex. Mitchell, 
E.C. Railways, Inverness. 

The Secretary submitted a communication from Professor 
Mackinnon, Edinburgh, regarding a proposed Highland memorial 
to the late Professor Blackie, in the form of a valuable scholarship 
in connection with the Celtic Chair, of which the meeting cordially 
approved. < 

Thereafter the Rev. Alex. Bisset, Nairn, read a paper on the 
" Topography and Folklore of Stratherrick." 

2nd MAY, 1895, 

At this meeting Mr Magnus Maclean, M.A., assistant professor, 
University, Glasgow ; Mr J. G. Mackay, merchant, Portree ; and 
Mr Duncan Macdonald, Culcabock Village, Inverness, were elected 
members of the Society. Thereafter Mr Charles Ferguson, Fair- 
burn, read a paper, entitled " The Early History, Legends, and 
Traditions of Strathardle No. 4." Mr Ferguson's paper was as 
follows : 



1560. I ended my last paper at the troublous times of the 
Reformation, when all Scotland, and more particularly the High- 
lands, was in a very disturbed unsettled state ; and to add to all 
the other troubles and hardships of the poor people, there came a 
succession of very bad seasons, and consequently very poor crops. 
The summers were either very cold and wet, or else so extremely 
hot and dry, as to burn up the crops ; harvests, late and bad, 
followed by winters of extreme severity, with very deep snows and 
extra hard frost ; so that the poor people of the Highlands were 
reduced to great straits by want and famine. This will be seen 
from the following extracts from the good old Dean of Lismore's 
" Ch^uiclee of Fortingall" : 

" 1559. Evill symmyr, hairst, and vyntyr. 

" 1560. The symmyr richt deyr, evyll haryst that evyr was 
seyn, mekil hungyr and darth. 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 249 

"1561. Mekill snaw, frost, and storms; the begynnyn of 
April evill frosts, snaw, and gret windis, in May rycht dry and 
het, and frosts, and vind. 

"1562. Mekill snaw in all partis, mony deyr and ray slain 
that yer (many deer and roe starved that year). 

" 1567 The symmyr rycht dry and het, that brynt and did 
kill corne, and grys, evyl haryst." 

To anyone who really knows the state of the country at that 
time, when the people had to rely almost entirely upon the crops 
of their own respective districts, what a tale of hunger and 
starvation it revealed by these short accounts of so many bad 
harvests, especially as the whole country was likewise then in a 
state of war and turmoil. 

1563. All over Perthshire and eastern Ar^yle there raged at 
this time fierce war and persecution against the gallant but 
unfortunate Clan Gregor, who were harried and hunted all over 
the country. I find the following quaint entry at this date in the 
Chronicle of Fortingall : " The Lard of Glenvrquhay wryrth 
(wareth) against Clangregor." The Earl of Athole was also 
ordered by the Privy Council to hunt the Clan Gregor out of 
Athole, Strathardle, and Glenshee, where many of them had 
found a refuge, particularly with the Robertsons of Straloch and 
the Clan Fergusson, who often were in trouble, and fined for 
resetting and harbouring the Clan Gregor. 

The following is a copy of the Order of the Privy Council to 
the Earl of Athole to hunt the Macgregors out of his bounds : 

" 22 Sept. 1563. At Stirling. The Queene's Majestie under- 
standing that the Clano-regour, being Her Hienes rebellis, and at 
her home for divers horrible attemptatis committat by thame 
selfis in greit cumpanyis, bot also lies drawn to thame the maist 
part of the broken men of the hale countre quhilks at their 
at their pleasour, birnis and slays the pour leiges of this relme, 

revis, and taks their gudis, &c And knawing that 

the saidis malefactours for the maist pairt hantis and repam 
within the bounds following and that the nobleman underspecifut 
quha is principal of the boundis under mentioned, is maist able to 
expell the said evill doers, furth of his boundis. Thairfor ordains 
the said Nobleman, John, Earl of Athole, to expell and hald the 
said broken men furth of his bounds of Athole, Strathardoll, 
Glensche and Dunkeld." 

However, in spite of all the strict laws passed by the Govern- 
ment, and of the cruel way in which these were carried out by 

250 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

their enemies, the unfortunate Macgregors always found a refuge 
in Strathardle, and though most of the proprietors were very 
often very heavily fined for doing so, they still continued to 
shelter Clan Gregor down to the end of the persecution in the 
days of Rob Roy, who often took refuge in Strathardle when 
hardest pressed, especially in Ashintully Castle, where the room 
which he used to occupy is still called Rob Roy's Room to this 
day. * 

The enemies of Clan Gregor carried their persecution to such 
an extreme length that they specially trained a fierce breed of 
dogs to hunt them to their hiding places amongst the hills and 
woods. This they did by bringing up the young puppies on the 
milk of Macgregor women, so that when the} 7 grew up they would 
know the scent of a Macgregor amongst crowds of other people, 
and follow them anywhere. These were the notorious " Coin 
Dhnbh," or Black Dogs, about which so many traditions still 
linger in Perthshire. Only once did the Black Dogs come to 
Strathardle to hunt Clan Gregors, and the result of that hunting 
was so unsatisfactory that they never repeated the visit. 

Campbell of Persie, knowing that there were many Macgregors 
then taking refuge in Strathardle, sent word to his relation Argyle, 
who at once sent a strong force of Campbells, under command of 
one of his chieftains, and with t\vo of the Black Dogs; and with 
orders to go to Campbell of Persie, who was to organize a grand 
hunt agaiust all the Macgregors lurking in the district. The 
Argylemen came by Breadalbane and Moulin, and across the hill 
to Glen Brierachan, where the weather got so very stormy and bad 
that when they reached the Garaidh-riabhach, a quarter of a mile 
west from Kindrogan House, the Campbell chieftain decided not 
to go on to Persie that day, but to take up his quarters there for 
the night, as there were plenty houses there then to shelter his 
large force, though there are no houses there now, since my grand- 
father and granduncle left there over sixty years ago. The 
Strathardle people had received warning that "the Campbells 
were coming " from Fergusson of Balyoukan, a great friend of the 
Macgregors, and who was soon after very heavily fined, along with 
other five gentlemen of the Clan Fergusson, for harbouring Clan 
Gregors. The Campbells had stopped at the village of Moulin for 
refreshments, and Balyoukan, being in the neighbourhood, seeing 
such a large force, and the much-dreaded Black Dogs, knew they 
were on some evil errand bent ; so, to try and find out their 
destination, he joined their officers, and, by supplying them with 
plenty driifk, soon got on such friendly terms with them that the 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 251 

leader confided to him where they were going and their purpose 
there. As quickly, and as quietly as possible, Balyoukan managed 
to get a word with his servant, who at once slipped off unnoticed, 
and by the quickest route made his way to Strathardle, and warned 
the people of the approaching danger". The alarm soon spread, so 
that, shortly before the Argylemen reached the Garaidh-riabhach, 
the good people of that hamlet might be seen carrying several 
M^cgregors, who were then living with them, on their backs, so as 
to leave no scent on the ground for the much-dreaded Black Dogs 
up the steep face of Kindrogan Rock, whose gigantic cliffs tower 
seven hundred feet overhead, and where from a snug retreat, 
always ready for such sudden emergencies, they could in safety 
look down on their foes passing below, secure even from the keen 
scent of the Black Dogs. 

When, owing to the severity of the storm, the Argylemen 
decided to remain overnight at Garaidh-riabhach, the good folk 
there were much alarmed and annoyed, but dare not show it. The 
leader and his officers took possession of the largest and best house, 
and safely kenneled the Black Dogs in an outhouse near the door, 
placing a sentry over them. The goodman of the house, a 
Robertson of the family of Straloch, was a very shrewd man, so, 
judging it best to keep the fair side of his dangerous guests, after 
he had first dispatched his wife and family to a neighbouring 
house, to, be out of harm's way, he proceeded to entertain them as 
hospitably as he could, and so well did he succeed, that, with the 
aid of plenty good liquor, he had them all before midnight in a 
rather elevated condition, when the leader drank to his health, and 
complimented him on his hospitality, adding that if all the Strath- 
aidle men were as hospitable, he did not wonder at the hungry 
Macgregors choosing it as their place of refuge. Old Robertson 
thanked him, and said that the only thing he regretted was, that 
he was very short of bed-clothes, but, to make up for that want, he 
had just sent a messenger round all his neighbours to collect all 
the plaids he could get, so that if they now retired he would cover 
them up with these plaids when his messenger returned, to which 
they willingly agreed, and they lay down to rest in high glee. 

Now old Robertson, besides being a very shrewd man, was also 
a bit of a wag, and having a bitter hatred against the Argylemen, 
his hereditary foes, which he dared not then show openly, he had 
devised a round-about scheme of revenge, which he now proceeded 
to carry out. So, instead of sending his messenger to his 
neighbours for plaids to cover his guests, he sent him up Kindrogan 
Rock, to the hiding-place of the Macgregors, and got all their 

252 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

plaids from them. On his return, the Argylemen, overcome with 
fatigue and drink, were all sound asleep, so old Robertson took the 
Macgregor plaids and wrapt them tightly and snugly round the 
.sleepers, then gathering all the bones and scraps of meat left, he 
made a heap of them behind the outer door, and extinguishing the 
light, went out to the sentry at the door, with whom he began a 
friendly chat about the dogs, pretending that he thought they 
were for hunting deer. After he baa praised the dogs very 
highly, he then suggested that as the night was so cold, he 
thought the " bonnie beasties " would be more comfortable in the 
house beside the fire, adding that he had left a big supper for 
them on the floor. The unsuspecting sentry at once agreed, and 
letting the dogs out of the outhouse where they were confined, he 
opened the house door and let them in. Old Robertson now 
thought it prudent to get out of the way, so he told the man that 
lie must now go to his family, but would return at daybreak, and 
departed. On entering the house the dogs smelt the bones left 
f jr them, and at once proceeded to devour them ; then they began 
a tour of inspection, and coming near the sleepers they scented 
the Macgregor plaids, which at once aroused their most ferocious 
instincts, and with fearful howls they sprang on the slumbering 
Campbells, and began biting and tearing them savagely. Then 
began a scene of wild confusion, the ferocious dogs howling and 
barking, and the half- asleep, half-drunken Campbells cursing and 
swearing, and as they thought that old Satan himself was let 
loose upon them, they drew their dirks and stabbed and slashed 
right and left in the dark, with the result that when the alarmed 
sentry and guard rushed in with lights, they found the two dogs 
cut to pieces, and all the men more or less severely wounded. 
They never suspected the trick played on them, but put the 
blame of the whole affair on some of the famous Athole witches, 
whom they thought had by their spells set their dogs mad. 

When old Robertson appeared before daybreak, he appeared 
very much surprised at what had happened, quite agreed with the 
witchcraft theory, and lamented very much the loss of the 
" bonnie black beasties" of dogs ; however, he took very good care 
that he very quietly gathered the Macgregor plaids, and slipped 
them into a dark corner, for fear that the Macgregor tartan might 
be noticed. I may here mention that the Robertson and Mac- 
gregor tartans are both very red, and somewhat similar in sett. 
After some breakfast, the. Argylemen prepared to begin their 
onward march to Persie, but, before starting, the leader, who was 
sorely wounded, and in very bad humour, said that he must first 

Sketches of the Early History of Strath ard/e. 253- 

see his favourite dogs get " Christian " burial before he went, and 
he ordered old Robertson at once to dig a grave for them. Now, 
that worthy did not believe in giving "Christian" burial to any 
dogs, let alone the hated Black Dogs, but, as the Campbell 
chieftain was not in a humour to be trifled with, he had to be 
very careful. He made several excuses, which only irritated the 
other, who, drawing his sword, swore if he did not instantly bury 
his dogs he would cut him down where he stood. Upon this 
Robertson replied that he thought it needless to make a special 
grave for the dogs, as " there would be plenty of room for them in 
the ' Big Grave,' and per hapsthe bonnie beasties would be quieter 
if they were laid beside somebody they kent." This rather 
astonished the other, who asked what he meant by the " Big 
Grave," to which Robertson coolly replied, " that when coming 
along in the morning a neighbour had told him that Baron Robert- 
son of Straloch, with a strong force of Strathardle men, were 
waiting for them beyond Kindrogan, and that Baron Fergussori of 
Dunfallandy, with his clan, had followed them from Athole, and 
were close at hand, to protect their lands in Strathardle and 
Glenshee, and that if these two Barons fought that day as they 
were wont to do, there would be a big, big grave required before 
night, in which there would be plenty room for the dogs." Upon 
hearing that there was a large force both before and behind them^ 
the Campbell officers got alarmed, and their leader asked Robertson 
if he coujd not yet lead them by some quiet way out of the fix 
they were in, and offered him a large reward if he would do so, 
Robertson told him that the only way now was to go -up Kindrogan 
.Rock, where men could climb, but not horses, so the leaders agreed 
to leave their steeds behind, and they set off at once. Robertson 
led them up the face of the Rock, within sight of the hidden 
Macgregors, and over the Kindrogan hills, and by the head of 
Glenderby, to the Pass of Atholeford, where they could see Ben 
Lavvers and the Campbell country, so he there bid them adieu, and 
returned, the richer by a purse of gold and several good horses, 
and so he got that large hostile force out of the district without 
bloodshed. The two Barons really were close at hand, as Robertson 
had said, but with only a very small force, with which they had 
hastened to watch the invaders, leaving orders for gathering their 
full forces as quickly as possible, which they did, only to find the 
Argylemen "ower the hills an' far awa," by " the Birks o' Aber- 
feldy," on the way back to their own country, and it was thirteen 
years after that before they ventured back on another raid to 

254 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

1564. Last year we were with the foes of Clan Gregors, and 
their cursed black dogs, following the gruesome sport of hunting 
that outlawed race on the hills of Athole ; it is therefore with the 
more pleasure that we turn this year to the more congenial sport 
of hunting the deer with " Bonny Queen Mary" in the Athole 

In August of this year Queen ^ry visited the Perthshire 
Highlands as the guest of the Earl of Athole at Blair Castle, when 
another of those grand royal hunts took place in which the Stuart 
monarchs took such a delight. Mary had her full Court with 
her, all the principal nobility of the kingdom. She came by 
Perth to Cupar-Angus Abbey, where she stayed some days, then 
rode UD Strathardle and Glenbrierachan, past Ben Veachie by the 
Leacainn-Mhor, and down by Glengirnaig to Blair Castle. After 
the hunt she went on by Drumuachdar to Inverness. Cupar 
Abbey had to pay 124 10s 8d of her travelling expenses out of 
its revenue for this journey, as I find the following entry in ( " The 
Register of Cupar Abbey," vol. ii., page 281 : "For the Queinis 
Majesteis expensis in passage throucht Athoil from the huntis, to 
Inuernes, as the particularis subscritiit be Alexander Durhame 
beris, extending to j c xxiiii. lib - x 8 viii. d 

The grand hunt was arranged to take place in Glen Tilt, and 
the Earl sent two thousand Athole men, for two months, to 
gather all the deer from Dunkeld to Argyle, and from there to 
Inverness and Aberdeen, and all the country between, and to drive 
them all to Glen Tilt. To the Strathardle men, under the Baron 
Ruadh of Straloch, the difficult duty was given of blocking Glen 
Loch, the Pass of Beallach-na-leum, and other passes leading east- 
ward from Glen Tilt, from the top of Ben-y-gloe to the marches of 
Mar, where they were on sentry night and day for two months. 

Pennant (Part II. page 64) gives the following translation of 
the account given of this great hunt, by Professor Barclay, who 
was present at it when a young man : " The Earl of Athole, a 
prince of the royal blood, had, with much trouble and vast 
expense, a hunting match fur the entertainment of our most 
illustrious and most gracious Queen. Our people call this a royal 
hunting. I was then a young man, and was present on the 
occasion. Two thousand Highlanders, or wild Scotch, as you call 
them here, were employed to drive to the hunting ground all the 
deer from the woods and hills of Athole, Badenoch, Mar, Murray, 
and the counties about. As these Highlanders use a light dress, 
and are very swift of foot, they went up and down so nimbly that 
in less than two months' time they brought together 2000 red 

Sketches of the Early History of Strath ardle. 255 

deer, besides roes and fallow deer. The Queen, the great men, 
and others, were in a glen when all the deer were brought before 
them. Believe me, the whole body of them moved forward in 
something like battle order. This sight still strikes me, and ever 
will, for they had a leader whom they followed close wherever 
he moved. This leader was a very fine stag, with a very high 
head. The sight delighted the Queen very much ; but she soon 
had occasion to fear, upon the Earl's (who had been accustomed 
to such sights) addressing her thus : ' Do you observe that stag 
who is foremost of the herd? There is danger from that stag ; for 
if either fear or rage should force him from the ridge of that hill, 
let everyone look to himself, for none of us will be out of the way 
of harm ; for the rest will follow this one, and having thrown us 
under foot, they will open a passage to this hill behind us.' 
What happened a moment after confirmed this opinion, for the 
Queen ordered one of the best dogs to be let loose upon a wolf ; 
this the dog pursues, the leading stag was frightened, and he flies 
by the same way he had come there, the rest rush after him, and 
break out where the thickest body of Highlanders was. They had 
nothing for it but to throw themselves flat upon the ground and 
.allow the deer to pass over them. It was tcld the Queen that 
several of the Highlanders had been wounded, and that two or 
three had been killed outright, and the whole body had got off 
had not the Highlanders, by their superior skill in hunting, fallen 
upon a stratagem to cut off the rear from the main body. It was 
of those that had been separated that the Queen's dogs and those 
of the nobility made slaughter. There were killed that day 360 
deer, with five wolves and some roes." 

Such is the short account left us of this great royal hunt by 
one of the greatest scholars of the day, who was present and 
enjoyed the sport like his royal mistress. It was one of the few 
bright and happy incidents in the troubled life of poor un- 
fortunate Queen Mary. 

1565. Under this date we find the following entry in the 
chronicle of Fortingall : " Great hayrschyppiss in mony partis of 
Scotland, in Stratherne, in Lennox, in Glenalmond, in Braydalbin, 
bayth slattyr and oppressyon beant mayed in syndry udyr partis 
by the erll of Ergill and M'Gregor, and their complices. Sblyk 
in Strathardil mony men slayn be the men of Atholl and the 
Stuartis of Lorn." 

Now, to explain why the men of Athole and the Stuarts of 
Lorn made this great " slattyr" of the Strathardle men, we must 
go back to 1488, when we saw that Neil Stewart of Garth and 

256 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

Fortingall was superior of the Kirk of Strathardle, and held all 
the land of that Kirk. This Neil was succeeded by his son, 
grandson, and great-grandson all Neils and a wild, warlike race 
they were these Neils, worthy descendants of the ferocious Wolf 
of Badenoch. By their wild extravagance they reduced their 
estates so much that in the time of the third Neil we read in the 
"Book of Garth and Fortingall," page 183 "The then Earl of 
Athole is found in full possession of his whole patrimonial barony. 
Neil, however, sought and found a protector who could defend 
him against the Earl of Athole. He resigned his barony of 
Fortingall (including Strathardle) into the hands of the Earl of 
Huntly in 1509, and was that nobleman's tenant and vassal ever 

Again, at page 189 "It would seem that from 1509 down to 
the rebellion and forfeiture of George, Earl of Huntly, in 1563, 
Fortingall (and Strathardle) was an outlying possession of the 
Gordon chiefs. The fourth Earl, John of Athole, of the Stewarts 
of Lorn was the ablest of his race. He adroitly availed himself of 
Huntly's forfeiture in 1563, and of the favour he had gained in Queen 
Mary's eyes, by his vote against the Reformation in Parliament in 
1560, to get hold of Fortingall, and obtained other advantages 
from Huntly's fall. In his days of favour he persuaded Queen 
Mary to exempt his lands from the jurisdiction of the Justice 
General, and to give him a commission for life to be chief judge 
within his own lands and the lands of some of his neighbours, 
who very much disliked to be placed under him." 

This commission, dated April, 1564, is : "Given and granted 
to John, Earl of Athole, a Commission of Justiciary for all the 
days of his life time, within all and sundry the bounds and lands 
afterwards specified : To wit, all and haill his lands lying within 
his Earldom of Atholl, with lands and tenandries thereof, and all 
and sundry lands pertaining to the Abbot and Convent of Cupar, 
lying within the said Earldom. The lands of Fortingall, and 
Fosses, the lands of the Forest of Cluny, and Baronies of 
Strowaul, Apnachull, Grantully, lands of Weene, the lands of 
Rannoch, and Strathardill, Glensche, and the lands and Barony of 
Rattray lying within the Sheriffdom of Perth." 

I find this commission confirmed again at Edinburgh, 16th 
May, 1578, Records Privy Council, page 698. Again, I find it 
confirmed in 1672, in the Acts of the Scots Parliament, Vol. VIII., 
page 103, where the names of the different lands in question in 
Strathardle and Glenshee are given : " Ratification in favors of 
John, Earl of Atholl, of lands in Strathardill. In lyke manner 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 257 

the towne and lands of Wester Callies . . . the towne and 
lands of Blackcraige and Mylnelands thereof . . . the lands 
of Blackghines and Drumfrog. All and haill the lands of Bletoun, 
Haly*, with tennants, tennandries, service of free tenants, pairts 
and pendicles thereof . . . and syclyke all and haill the lands 
and barronie of Downy, viz., Over Downie, Middle Downie, 
Boreland, Ednarnachtie, Cuttelony, Stronamuck, Ffenze, and 
Inveraddrie, with the Mylne, Bennanmore, Bennanbeg, Ran- 
daiioyak, Kerrache, Cuthill, Ballinbeg, Dalmunge, with the pairts 
of Pitbrabine, Glengaisnett, and Glenbeg, with the pertinents of 
the samen whatsomever." Most of these lands belonged to Baron 
Fergusson, of Dunfallandy, as we have already seen, in 1510, and 
we have also seen that in 1521, through some quirk of the law, the 
chief, John Fergusson, was declared a bastard, and these lands 
taken from his son Robert, which act of injustice was very much 
resented by the members of the Clan Fergusson residing on the 
lands of Downie, &c., in Strathardle, and on the lands of Finne- 
gand, Dalmunzie, and others in Glenshee, so that these Fergussons 
became " broken men," lawless and turbulent, and as such, are 
found in the roll of " broken men," against whom an Act of 
Parliament was passed afterwards in 1587, in which " Black List," 
the rest of the Clan, the Athole Fergussons, are not found. 

These Strathardle and Glenshee Fergussons, with Spalding of 
Ashintully, and Rattray of Dalrulzion, and other lairds of the 
district, aided by their outlawed friends the Macgregors, taking 
advantage of the troubled times, became so lawless and so powerful, 
that though the Queen had given the Earl of Athole the com- 
mission to be chief judge of Strathardle, yet even that powerful 
noble was quite powerless to quell them and restore order with his 
own followers, so Queen Mary had to issue a proclamation to the 
Sheriffs of Perth and Forfar, Strathern and Menteith, to raise all 
men within their bounds between the ages of sixteen and sixty, 
" to be reddy to pass with the Earl of Athole to suppress the 
mony herschippis, slaughteris, and depredationis committit in 
Athole and Strathardle." 

This proclamation is given in the " Records of the Privy 
Council," Vol I., page 383, and is as follows : " 26th Oct., 1565. 
Proclamation to be reddy to pass with the Earl of Atholl, &c. 
The quhilk day the King and Queen's Majesties, understanding 
the mony herschippis, slauchteris, and depredationis committit to 
diverse wicket and mischevious personis upoun the trew and 
faythful subjectis inhabitants of Atholl and boundis adjacient 
thereto, quhilks intends to lay the samyn cuntre and boundis all 


258 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

waste and desolat, to evert so far in thame lyis the haill state of 
this common weill, gif their mischevious attemptattis be nocht 
repressit ; thairfair ordains lettres to be direct to officers of armes, 
Sheriffs in that part, charging them to pass to the mercat croces 
of the borrowes of Perth and Forfar and other places, neidful and 
their be oppan proclamation, in their Heiness' name and authority, 
command and charge all and sundrie their Majesties' leiges betwix 
sextie and sextene yeris, and uth^fs fensible personis alswell 
dwelland to burgh, as to land within Regalitie as Rialte within the 
boundis of the Sherifdoms of Perth and Forfar, Stewartries of 
Stratherne and Menteith, that they and ilk ane of them weill 
bodden in feir of weir prepare thaimessesellffs and mak them in 
reddiness as they shall receive advertisement and commandment 
by their traiste cousing and counselor, Johnne, Erll of Atholl, 
Lord of Balvany, Lieutenant of the north pairts of this realme, 
with eight days vitoul and provisions, upon two days' warning to 
nieit the said Erie at sic pairt and place as he sal appoint till 
thame, and frathyne to pas furthwart for defence, on invasionn of 
the saidis wickit personis and rebellis according to the command- 
ment and direction of the said Lieutenant upon the pain of tinsall, 
of lyff, land is, and guidis." 

With this strong force, placed at his disposal by the Queen, and 
also assisted by his own kinsmen, the Stuarts of Lorn, the Earl of 
Athole came to Strath ardle, with the result that there were " mony 
men slayn," as we have already seen from the quotation from the 
" Chronicle of Eortingall," with which I began the notice of this 
year "Great hayrschyppis in inony partis. Liclyk in Strathardill, 
mony men slayn be the men of Atholl and the Stuarts of Lorn." 

1570. In following the history of Athole, as we have done 
from the earliest period, we find the natives of that beautiful and 
romantic district famous in many different ways. We find Diarmid 
and the prehistoric Ossianic warriors hunting in lone Glenshee ; we 
find Athole giving a royal race to reign over Scotland for ages ; we 
find its sons great Churchmen, statesmen, warriors, and huntsmen ; 
we find it a land of brave men and bonnie lasses ; but now we find 
it famous for still another class, and that rather an uncanny lot, 
viz., witches, for which Athole was famed from the earliest times. 

Old George Buchannan, writing of the murder of King James 
I., by Walter, Earl of Athole, details the different tortures to 
which the Earl was put for two days, and on the third day : 
" Then he was set on a pillory, that all might see him, and a red- 
hot iron crown set on his head, with this inscription, that he should 
be called King of all Traitors. They say the cause of this punish- 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 259 

ment was, that Walter had been sometimes told by some female 
witches, as Athole was always noted to have such, that he should 
be crowned king in a mighty concourse of people ; for, by this 
means, that prophecy was either fulfilled or eluded." Book X., 
page 357. 

Dr Marshall, also, in his " Historic Scenes in Perthshire," 
Blair-A thole parish, says : " In the latter part of the sixteenth 
century, and the first part of the seventeenth, Athole was greatly 
infested with witches." This seems to have been the golden age 
of witchcraft in Athole, witches were very numerous, and their 
power over the people was very great, and they regularly held 
grand gatherings or councils, to discuss all the important topics of 
the day. We now find at this time all the witches of Athole hold- 
ing a great meeting in favour of Queen Mary, and presenting her, 
as a token of their friendship, with a deer's horn covered with gold. 
We are not told how many of the unhallowed sisterhood were 
present on this occasion, but we know that at another of their 
great meetings in 1597, when they met on a hill in Athole, there 
were 2300 of these hags present. We have several accounts of 
this great meeting in support of Queen Mary preserved. The 
following is from Dr Marshall's " Historic Scenes in Perthshire " : 
"The King's party and the Queen's then divided the country, 
each struggling for the ascendancy, The Earl of Athole took the 
Queen's side, and the witches of Athole did the same. In 1570 
they sent the Queen a present of a pretty hart horn, riot exceeding 
in quantity the palm of a man's hand, covered with gold, and 
artificially wrought. The emblems graven on it, and the inscrip- 
tions, were all prophetic of the sure triumph that awaited Mary 
over her enemies. In the head of it were curiously engraven the 
arms of Scotland ; in the nether part of it a throne, and a gentle- 
woman sitting in the same, in a robe royal, with a crown upon her 
head. Under her feet was a rose environed with a thistle. Under 
that were two lions, the bigger one and the lesser. The bigger lion 
held its paw on the face of the other, as his lord and commander. 
Beneath all were written these words : 

' Fall what may fall, 

The lion shall be lord of all.' 

This was evidently designed to convey a hope and a wish, that 
Mary should ere long, in spite of all contrarious circumstances, be 
in possession of England, as well as of her native dominions. 
Unhappily for Mary, and for the credit of the witches, the prophecy 
did not come to pass. The event falsified it." 

260 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

1571. Whether the Athole witches themselves had any 
power for evil over the weather or wot, or whether it was a 
judgment on the district for such uncanny gatherings and doings > 
I know not ; but the winter of this year was the most severe and 
calamitous on record in the annals of Athole. 

In the "Chronicle of Fortingall" we read : "Samyn yer, viz. 
ane M V c sexte lewn yeris (one thousand five hundred and sixty- 
eleven years) the xxii. day of FebrusUf, ther com eftyr nown ane 
gret storym and sna\v and hayll and wind that na man nor best 
micht tak up ther heddis nor gang nor ryd, and mony bestis war 
parcist furth in the storm, and mony men and vemen war parisht 
in syndry partis, and al kynd of vyttellis rycht deyr, and that 
becaus na millis mycht gryii (no mill might grind), for the frost. 
All cornis com till the mill of Dunkell out of Sane Johnisthoun 
(St Johnston, old name of Perth) betwyxt that and Dunkell, and 
all udyr boundis about far and neyr. The maill that tyme in 
Sane Johnistoun was xliiii. s 

Amongst the other mills that " mychtint gryn " (mightent 
grind) for frost was the famous Black Mill of Tullochcurran^-the 
: ' Muilionn-dubh," Black Mill, of song and story, and it was on 
the first starting of the mill-wheel and machinery well on in the 
following summer, after the long enforced idleness caused by this 
great storm, when the country people were starving for meal 
that the words and music of this famous reel were first composed. 

Angus Mackay, in his pipe music book, and some others who- 
knew only the name and music without the real origin of the 
tune, have fallen into the mistake of supposing that it is the 
" Black Snuff Mill," which almost every Highlander then carried 
in his pocket, which was referred to, and so the English name 
often found in books for this grand old reel is " The Black Snuff 
Mill " a most absurd mistake, as the old Gaelic words clearly 

According to tradition, the miller, who was a bard, composed 
the music when he first got the mill started after this long 
enforced idleness. The big water wheel thundered round once 
more, and all the little wheels whirled about so merrily that the 
old miller felt so happy he was inclined to dance for joy : 

" Tha 'm Muilionn-dubh air bhogadan' &c. 
'S e 'togairt dol a dhannsa." 

He tells how the "snow and drift and wind " came on so fierce as.. 
to block up the mill : 

" Bha cur 's cathadh 's gaoth, 
Anns a' Mhuilionn-dubh," &c. 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 261 

He thought there was a little barley meal left in the mill, but not 

a 2r?jn 

" Shaoil learn gun robh min-eorna, 

'S a' Mhuilionn-dubh, J s gun deann an." 

Instead of barley meal, there were many things in the Black Mill 
not dreamt of in their philosophy : 

" Tha ioma rud nach saoil sibh, 
'S a' Mhuilionn-dubh," &c. 

From the uncanny noises heard about it at nights, he thought 
the great muckle Deil himself was there by the horns : 

" Tha 'n Diabhull-dubh air adhaircean 
'S a' Mhuilionn-dubh," &c. 

If Great Hornie himself was not there, there certainly were 
smaller hornies, as the cows and goats had taken possession of 
the deserted mill, in which calves and kids were born. 

" Tha 'n crodh a breth nan laogh, 

Anns a' Mhuilionn-dubh, 's a' Mhuilionn-dubh, 

Tha gobhair, 's crodh-laoigh, 

'S a' Mhuilionn-dubh o Shamhradh." 

Such a forsaken spot had the Black Mill become for so long, 
that the very grouse had selected it as their nesting place : 

" Tha nead na circe-fraoiche, 
'S a' Mhuilionn-dubh," &c. 

After such a desolate state of affairs, who can wonder at the 
old poet-miller singing and dancing for joy when he once more 
got his beloved mill " Air bhogadan," so that it " mycht gryn." 

" Tha 'm Muilionn-dubh air bhogadan, 
Tha 'm Muilionn-dubh air bhogadan, 
Tha 'm Muilionn-dubh air bhogadan, 
'S e 'togairt dol a dhannsa." 

And from that day to the present, the mill, occasionally renewed, 
has continued to " gryn" good meal ; and from that day to " very 
near" the present, the Black Mill was always reckoned an uncanny 
place to go near after dark, being haunted by everything evil, 
more especially by the largest and most dangerous water kelpie on 
the Ardle, which haunted its mill-lade and croy when the Ardle was 

262 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in flood. This great kelpie was last seen shortly after the fall of 
Sebastopol by an Ennochdhu worthy, long since dead, who had 
been along at Kirkmichael Hotel to drink, like a loyal subject, to 
our great victory over the Russians. No doubt he did his duty in 
that line, and all went well till when on his homeward journey he 
was passing the Black Mill croy. The Ardle was in very high 
flood, almost washing over the road, when lo ! there came the 
great kelpie swimming almost to his feet. As our friend did not 
wait to make a scientific examination of the kelpie, he could not 
afterwards tell exactly what he was like, but he solemnly declared 
ever after that if the British Government could have only cap- 
tured that kelpie in time, and let it loose in the harbour of 
Sebastopol, the Russians would have cleared out in a few hours ! 
The idea of enlisting our old kelpies, &c., once such mighty 
powers for evil, but now seemingly so useless at home, and sending 
them abroad to fight our battles for us, was one of the brightest 
ideas of one of our brightest worthies ; may he rest in peace. 

1576. This was another year of war and want in Strathardle ; 
bad harvest, very severe winter and spring, and great war between 
the Earls of Athole and Argyle and fierce raids by the Lochaber 
men. Well might the poor people join in the prayer of the 
worthy Dean of Lismore, at the end of his notice of these 
calamities in his "Chronicles of Fortingall": " Evyl haryst, 
evyl wyntyr, evyl Merche, contynual wet ; ther wes wyer betwyxt 
my Lord of Argyll and my Lord of Awtholl, and great spwytion 
mayd by the men of Lochabyr on pwyr men. God see til that." 

The Strathardle men being very bitter against Argyle, joined 
Athole in great force, and so fierce did the war rage that the 
Regent Morton had to issue the following order to stop hostilities. 
Privy Council Records, Appendix, Vol. II., page 533 : " Edin- 
burgh, 26 June, 1576. Charge to the Erllig of Ergyle and 
Atholl, to keip gude rewle. Foresamekill as it is understood to 
the Regent's Grace and Lordis of Secrit Counsale that there is of 
late slaughter and utheris enormities happynit betwext the 
friendis, servandis, and dependaries of the Erllis of Ergyle and 
Atholl, quhair upon there is appearance of great convocations and 
further inconvenientis to follow gif tymous remeid be not pro- 
vider. . . . His Grace directs and orders all further trouble 
and misrule to rest and to observe our Sovereign Lordi's peace and 
quietness in the cuntre ... at their heichast charge and 
perrell," &c. 

1577. From the almost continual wars, raids, forays, and 
slaughters which we have seen taking place in Strathardle for 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 263 

many years back, we would have thought that the Strathardle men 
would have had enough fighting ; but no, their martial spirit was 
so strong that not content with all the hard fighting at home in 
Scotland, they must needs go abroad for more, as we find in this 
year Captain David Spalding of Ashintully raising a body of 
Strathardle Highlanders to go to Flanders to fight for the King 
of Spain, who had granted a colonel's commission to the chief of 
the Spaldings on condition that he recruited a regiment amongst 
his clan and countrymen, " certane cumpanyis of futemen," and 
he was to choose his own officers. Spalding had to apply to the 
Regent Lennox and the Privy Council for a license to raise these 
men for foreign service. It was granted, and the Privy Council 
passed a special Act authorising Ashintully to : " Stryke drum- 
mis, display ensigns, and lift and collect the saidis companyis of 
futemen and to depart to the wars of Flanders." So successful 
was Spalding in recruiting that he very soon raised his full com- 
plement of officers and men, and many a brave strapping 
Strathardle lad left for Flanders that never returned. The 
Act of license to Spalding is preserved in the "Records of 
the Privy Council," Vol. II., pages 641 and 736, and is as 
follows: "Holyrood House, October 10th, 1577. Act anent 
the departing of the men of war to Flanderis anent the 
supplication presented to my Lord Regent's Grace, and 
Lords of Secret Counsale, by Captain David Spalding. That 
quhair thair is certain commissions laitlie brocht in this 
realme in name of the King of Spayne, and the Estates of his Low 
Countries appointand the said Captain David Spalding as Colunnel 
ower certane cumpanyis of futemen of this nation under his regi- 
ment to be levyed and transported to the said Low Countries for 
the service of the said Estaitts humlie desyring thairfor license to 
stryke drummis, display hand-enseignes, and lift and collect the said 
companies of futemen, and at first commodite to transport them. 
. . . The Regents Grace therefore with advice of the Lords of 
the Secrete Counsale grants and gives license to the said Captain 
David Spalding and the Captains elected and chosen by him under 
his regiment, to stryke drummis, display enseignes and lift and 
collect the saidis companyis of futemen at at the first cornmodite 
to transport thaine at their pleasour." 

1582. In August of this year King James VI. held another 
grand royal hunt amongst the hills of Athole and Strathardle. 
There was a great gathering of clansmen beforehand, as usual, to 
gather in the deer, &c., from the surrounding districts. The great 
meeting-place, to which all the deer were driven to, was at the hill 

264 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of Elrick, on Dirnanean Moor, which hill, as its name indicates, 
had been for ages before one of the noted hunting-places of Athole. 
An elrig was an enclosure of trees, posts intertwined with brush- 
wood, etc., specially constructed by the old Highlanders, in suitable 
situations, to enclose the hunted deer they had collected from a 
distance on all sides except that on which they entered. This 
enclosure was always overlooked by an overhanging rock or hill, 
called Craggan-an- Elrig, from which ladies could see the sport in 
safety. As a proof of what a hunting country Strathardle must 
have been in olden times, I may mention that my late uncle, 
Robert Forbes (than whom none better knew these hills), told me 
that he knew twelve elrigs in the district above Kirkmichael. 

Dr Robertson of Callander, in his valuable work on the 
"Agriculture of the County of Perth, 1799," page 328, describes 
<in elrig as follows : " While the deer were permitted to inhabit 
the valleys, and the country was under wood, the natives hunted 
them by surrounding them with men, or by making large 
enclosures of such a height as the deer could not overleap, fenced 
with stakes and intertwined with brushwood. Vast multitudes of 
men were collected on hunting days, who, forming a ring round 
the deer, drove them into these enclosures, which were open on 
<jne side. From some eminence, which overlooked the enclosure, 
the principal personages and others, who did not choose to engage 
in the chase, were spectators of the whole diversion. The 
enclosures were called in the language of the country elerig, which 
is derived from another word that signifies contest or strife. One 
of the farms in Glenlochy of Breadalbane is called ' Craggan-an- 
Elerig,' a small rock which overhangs a beautiful field resembling 
the arena of an amphitheatre, probably the first that was cleared 
of wood in that district, and admirably adapted for this purpose 
by the natural situation of the adjacent ground. There are elerigs 
in various parts of the country." 

King James enjoyed the hunting very much, and it was on his 
way south from it that he was made prisoner at Ruthven Castle, 
an incident which is known in Scotch history as "The Raid of 

1583. Going to the war in Flanders, in 1577, with his 
Strathardle lads had proved a paying venture to Colonel Spald- 
ing, who out of the pay and plunder got there now built 
Ashintully Castle, on the plan of ihe neighbouring ancient Castle 
of Morcloich, on Whitefield. Above the door is the date, 1583, 
and the words "The Lord defend this house." 

We have already seen a century ago that the Stewarts held a 
lease of the Kirklands of Strathardle and Moulin, from the Abbey 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 265 

of Dunfermline, and I now find in the Records of the Priory 
Council a complaint by Sir John Stewart of Tullypouries and his 
wife against the Commendators and Brethren of Dunfermline 
because they would not sign a renewal lease of these Kirklands. 
This complaint is as follows (Records Privy Council, Vol. III., 
page 642) : 

"Holyrood House, 17th March, 1583-4. Complaint of Johnne 
Stewart of Tullipuries and Margaret Carwood, his spouse, as 
follows : They have been kindlie tennentis and takismen to the 
Commendators and Convent of Dunfermling of all and sundrie the 
teind sehaves (teind-sheaf) small teinds and utheris teinds 
quhatsumever of the paroche Kirkis of Strathardill and Muling, 
alswele personage as vicarage, with mannssis, glebis and kirk- 
land thereof and all pendiclis and pertinentis of the same, thir 
divers years bygone, and hes presentlie tacks thereof for years yet 
to run lyke as they have laitlie causit mak ane new tak of the 
said teind sehaves, &c., of the said kirks, to be subscrivet be the 
saidis Commendators and Convent to the saidis complainers for 
their lyftimes, and efter thair deceis to the airs, assignais, and 
sub-tennentia of the said John quhatsover, not hurtand nor 
demiuisching the auld rentall for the space of twigis nyntene 
jearis. But though the same tak is already subscrevit by Robert, 
Commendator of Dunfermline, yet the conventual brethern 
planelie refussis to subscrive, though the complainers hes offerit 
thame reasonable composition and enters sylver for the same." 

Orders were at once given to these stubborn brethren to sign 
the tack, but they took no notice, and John Stewart and his 
spouse again applied to the Privy Council, and "the defenders not 
-appearing, the Lords decree that they shall be ordered ance man- 
to subscrive the tak within three days under pain of rebellion." 
The fear of being declared rebels frightened the brethren, and 
they signed the tack. 

1584. The Abbey of Dunfermline having become vacant 
through the death of Robert, " last Commendator thereof," it had 
pleased the King, with advice of his Council, "to reserve and 
retain the fruitis and rentis of the saidis Abbey to his ain proper 
use for the support of the chairgis of his Hienes house and 

The Act closes with " Reservand always the thingis exceptit 
in his Hienes lait revocation, as alsua the tak sett be the said 
umquhile Commendaton and Convent to John Stewart of Tullie- 
puris and his spouse of the Kirks of Strathargill and Muling." 

266 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Holyrood House, March 22, 1584-5. Records P. Council, Vol. 
III., p. 730. 

1587. i n this year the Scots Parliament passed an important 
Act for the quieting of the Highlands and Islands. To this Act is 
appended : " A roll of the names of the landlordis and baillies 
of landis in the Hielands and lies, quhair broken men, hes duelt 
and prcsentlie duellis, 1587." Maxwell of Teling, who at this 
time held the third part of the parish of Kirkunchael (family of 
Robertson of Straloch, page 22), is named in this roll. There is 
also another roll added to this Act : " The roll of the clannis in 
the Hielandis and lies, that hes capitanes, cheiffis, and chiftanes- 
quhome on they depend, oft tymes agains the willis of thair 
landislordis, and of sum speciale personis of branchis of the saidis 
clauuis, 1587." There are four Strathardle clans named in this 
black list : " Clandonoquhy, in Athoill, and pairtis adjacent "- 
the Robertsons of Struan and Straloch ; then in Glenshee we have 
three clans named : " The Clan M 'Thomas or M'Combies, the 
Fergussonis, and the Spaldingis." These clans kept Glenshee in 
a very disturbed state, principally because the Fergusson lands 
there had been taken from their chief, Baron Fergusson of Dun- 
fall and y, on a charge of bastardy, and had riot yet been returned, 
and also because they objected to pay taxes, or " cain," to their 
new lord superior, the Earl of Athole. When the Earl of Huntly 
was superior, he was very easy with them, as the district lay so 
far from his castle ; but now Athole sent regular collectors to* 
gather in all his dues, and a good deal more generally, which 
raised discontent. Spalding of Ashintully also, since he had 
built his new castle, had become very turbulent, and ruled with a 
high hand, so much so, that we read that the Baron Ruadh of 
Straloch had to go to church on Sundays with a piper playing and 
a large body of armed men to " prevent or quell tumults occasioned 
by Rattray of Dalrulzean and Spalding of Ashintully." 

1590. In an Act of Caution for good behaviour of this year, 
I find Sir John Murray of Tullybardine becoming surety in JOOO 
merks each for the following Strathardle lairds : " Johnne Robert- 
son of Straloch alias Barroun Reid ; Andro Spalding of Aschintully ; 
Walter Robertson of Dcwny ; Walter Leslie of Morecloich ; Johnne 
Rattray of Dalrulyan ; Alaster Stewart of Cultalonies ; James 
Wemyss at Mylne of Werie ; and Barroun Fergusson." 

1591. Strathardle, Lower Glenshee, and Glenisla were all 
badly harried in August of this year by the Campbells of Argyle,. 
brought, as usual, by their relative, Archibald Campbell of Persie, 
to revenge his own private quarrels with his neighbours. A 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 267 

Glenshee man was getting married to a Glenisla woman, and, as 
usual, a large body of Glenshee folk accompanied the bridegroom 
to Glenisla to ths wedding, and amongst them Campbell of Persie. 
During the evening Persie made some insulting remarks to the 
bride 'about her clan, the Ogilvies. Her father heard him, and 
resented the insult, and a quarrel ensued, and Persie stabbed the 
old man badly with his dirk. Lord Ogilvie then came upon the 
scene, who, drawing his claymore, called upon Persie to defend 
himself. Ogilvie quickly disarmed Campbell, and the enraged 
Glenisla men were for hanging him there and then to the nearest 
tree, but Lord Ogilvie would not allow that, as he had been their 
guest on this festive occasion, so he made them tie a halter round 
Persie's neck, and then ordered a band of young men to lead him 
by the halter beyond the bounds of the glen, and, " if he did not 
go quietly, they might hang him." He did go quietly, even 
though it is said that these frolicsome young men dragged him by 
the rope through various peat holes, and scourged him with nettles 
and thorns to try and make him "not to go quietly." But he 
went silent and sullen, so they kicked him beyond the bounds of 
Glenisla, and then returned to their interrupted festivities. 
Campbell came to Persie, but he staid not there, but went straight 
on to the Earl of Argyle, and told him the rich booty he could get 
so easily in these eastern glens, with the result that Argyle sent a 
force of 500 men, under John Campbell, brother to Lochnell, who" 
was accompanied by Campbell of Glenlyon, Macdonnell of Keppoch, 
young Macdonald of Glencoe, and other powerful leaders, with 
Campbell of Persie as guide. They raided Glenisla first, and then 
cleared Strathardle on their westward journey. Such a powerful 
force, coming so suddenly, Lord Ogilvie could not resist them, as 
he complains to the King: "Sic suddantie, I was nocht able to 
resist thame, but with grite difficultie, and short advertisment, he, 
his wyffe, and bairnis eschaiped." 

Lord Ogilvie complained to the King, and the Privy Council 
ordered Argyll to keep all his " brokin men" in his own country. 
Instead of doing so, Argyle was so pleased with the large quantity 
of plunder brought him, and hearing that a number of Glenisla 
men had escaped eastwards into Glenclova with their cattle, he 
sent the whole force back again in September to gather up all that 
had escaped them in August, and also to raid Glenclova and other 
parts adjacent. Again Lord Ogilvie complains to the King " that 
they hae murdered and slain 3 or 4 innocent men and women, and 
reft and taken away ane grit pray of guiddis." These complaints 
of Lord Ogilvie's are preserved in Pitcairns' Criminal Trials," Vol. 
I., page 263. 

L'tis Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

"Oct. 28th, 1591. On the complaint of James, Lord Ogilvie 
of Airlie .... Archibald, Earl of Ergyle, and his friends 
upon what motive or occasion the said Lord knows not, without 
any deserving on his part having concludit the wrack of his hous, 
and being informit that he had retirit himself in sobir manner to 
dwell and mak his aesidence in Glen Elay. Finding the place 
convennent for their interprise the ^aid Earle and his friends set 
out certain brokin Hielandmen, they are to say : John Campbell, 
brother to Lochinyell ; John Dow McCondoquhy in Iimeraw ; 
Neil Leich in Lochquhabir ; Donald McCarlich in Laird of Glen- 
urquhay's land ; Allan Roy McMolg, son to the Laird of Glenco ; 
Archibald Campbell of Persie ; Colin Campbell of Glenlyon ; 
Archibald Campbell his brother ; John McRannald (Keppoch) in 
Lochquhaber ; quha in the month of August lastly past to the 
number of 500 men of the cuntre of Ergyle, off sett purpois and 
deleberation to have slain the said Lord, and to have wrackit and 
spulzied the cuntre. Like as upon the xxi. day of August last 
by past they enterit Glen Elay under silence of night, with sic 
force and violence that the said Lord bydan for frome his friends, 
upon sic suddantie wes nocht able to resist thame, bot with grite 
difticultie and schorte advertisment, he, his wyffe and bairnis 
having eschaiped, they enter the countre with sic barbarous 
crultie not sparing wyffs nor bairnis, but murthowrit and sle\v all 
quhame theyfand therein to the nowmor of xviii. on xx. personnis, 
and spulziet and awa tuke ane grit nowmer of nolt, scheip, and 
plenessing to the uttar wrack and undoing of the haill peur 
inhabitants of the countre. Whilk being made known to his 
Majesty, he orderit the Earll and his friends to retain the broken 
men in their am cuntre. Nevertheless the upon . . . (date 
not legible) day of September last bypast within the time of the 
Assurance ; under silence of night invadit the inhabitants of Glen 
Elay and Glen Clova, ane hes murdered and slain 3 or 4 innocent 
men and wemen, and reft and taken away ane grit pray of guiddis, 
so that the peur men that dwelled in Glen Elay and Glen Clova 
and uther partis adjacent to' the Mounth quha are nocht able to 
nuik resistance are so oppressit be the broken men, and for sorners 
houndit out by the Earll of Ergyle and his friends and maintained 
and resettit be thame, that neither be his Majesties protection nor 
assistance of the partey can their lives and guidis be in suretie." 
The above-named persons are accordingly charged to appear before 
the King and Privy Council under the pain of rebellion, &c. 

Lord Ogilvie appeared on the day appointed to call them to 
account for these barbarities, but none of them having come 
forward, they were ordered to be pronounced rebels, etc. 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 269 

1597. This was a very stirring year in Strathardle wars 
and sieges and great feuds between, the Strathardle lairds and the 
Earl of Athole. Both the castles of Ashintully and Morecloich, 
on Whitefield, were besieged and taken, and their masters carried 
away captive ; and as most of the principal men in Strathardle 
had refused to pay teind-sheaves, they were declared guilty of 
treason, and condemned to be confined in the Castle of Blackness. 
And during these unsettled times the district was also very much 
overrun with witches, who held a high time of it. We have 
already noticed a great meeting of Athole witches in 1570, and 
now we come to another of these great gatherings of the uncanny 
sisterhood, for which Athole was always so famous, though the 
whole of Scotland was at this time swarming with them ; and 
witch-hunting was a favourite pursuit of King James VI., as we 
read in Ty tier's History of Scotland, Vol. IV., page 261 : 
"During the summer and autumn (1597) James was busily 
occupied with the trial of witches." And, again, at page 266 : 
"These constant cares were only interrupted by the alarming 
increase of witches and sorcerers, who were said to be swarming 
in thousands in the Kingdom ; and for a moment all other cares wese 
forgotten in the intensity with which the monarch threw himself 
once more into his favourite subject" witch-hunting. Had he 
come to Athole he would have found plenty witches to hunt, as 
we read that, in this year, at one of their great gatherings oii a 
hill in Athole, no fewer than 2300 witches were present, and the 
devil himself, of course, was chairman of the meeting. 

In Dr Marshall's "Historic Scenes in Perthshire," parish of 
Blair Athole, we read : "The year 1597 was noted for the trial 
of a great number of witches, both male and female, in Scotland, 
more especially in Athole. That year the uncanny sisters held a 
great convention on a hill in Athole. So Patrick Anderson 
relates in his MS. History of Scotland ; but he does not name the 
hill, so that we are not able to point it out. No fewer than 2300 
of the hags were present on that occasion, and, of course, the 
devil was among them. A famous witch of Balweary, named 
Margaret Aitken, told this ; and said that she knew them all well 
enough, and what mark his Satanic Majesty had put on each of 

Many of them were tried by the water ordeal. .Their two 
thumbs and their two great toes were bound together, and in 
this state they were thrown into a loch or into some deep pool. 
If they sunk they were innocent of wibchcraft, which, however, did 
not keep the water from drowning them. If they floated they 

270 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

were guilty. Many subjected to this ordeal, at the time to which 
we are referring, " floated aye aboon : " and as they would not 
drown there was no alternative but to burn them. 

The Bal weary witch was put to the torture, and confessed her 
own guilt ; but to save her life she informed against others, 
whom, she said, she knew infallibly by a secret mark in their 
eyes. For three or four months^ she was carried about the 
country for the purpose of detecting witches. Margaret was at 
length found to be an impostor. Persons whom she pronounced 
witches one day were brought before her the next day in a 
different dress, and she pronounced them innocent. She was 
tried for her imposture, and Spottiswood saj's that on her trial 
she declared all that she had confessed either of herself or of 
others to have been utterly false. This put all who had believed 
in her in an awkward plight. It loosed on them the tongues of 
unbelievers, who did not even spare the ministers. But the 
brethren considerately threw a shield over themselves. In 
November the Presbytery of Glasgow took notice of " divers 
persons who traduces and slanders the ministry of the city as the 
authors of putting to death the persons lately executed for 
witchcraft," and it ordained any person hereafter uttering this 
slander " shall be put in the branks at the judge's will." 

So it was a dangerous game at this time to meddle w r ith the 
clergy it did not matter how many innocent old women they 
burnt for witchcraft for fear of being put in the branks. To 
refuse to pay the ministers' tiends (which then were collected by 
so many sheaves of corn being taken out of every field in a parish) 
was even a more heinous crime, and such defaulters " were to be 
punished in their personis, lands, and guidis," as most of the 
Strathardle lairds found out this year to their cost. John Mac- 
lagene was the then minister of Kirkmichael, and as the 
Strathardle and Glenshee lairds refused to pay the tiends, the 
Privy Council brought them to trial, and being found guilty they 
were imprisoned in Blackness Castle, as we read in the Records of 
the Privy Council, Vol. V., page 416. 

"Linlithgow, October llth, 1597. Charge having been 
given to James, Master of Ogilvie ; Walter Leslie of More- 
cloich (Whitefield) ; Andro Spalding of Essintullie ; John 
Rattray of Dalrilyeane ; Lauchlane Ferquharsone of Broich- 
darg; Duncan McRitchie in Dalvungy; James Wemyss of the 
Mill of Werie; John Robertson alias Reid of Straloch, elder; 
John Robertson alias Reid of Cray, his son and apparent heir ; 
David Murray of Soilzerie ; Robert McComie in Thome; John 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 271 

Rattray in Wester Bleaton ; John Reid of Douny ; Alexander 
Rattray, apparent of Dalrilyeane ; and Donald McEan Molich 
VcComie in Werie, to appear and answer for disobeying Andro 
Murray of Balwaird in the matter of the tiend-sheaves of Strath- 
arlie and Glenshie of the present year. John Robertson, younger, 
appearing for his said father, and the remnant persons appearing 
all personally, His Majesty ' declairit his ' Heynes mynd and 
intentioun wes onlie to have intertenyit peace and quietness in the 
cuntrey liklie at that time to be desolvit by the leiding of the said 
teyndis ; for the whilk cause his Majesty directit uthiris lettres 
discharging all pairties to mell on leid the same teyndis bot to 
suffer and permit the said Andro Murray to have collectit, led, and 
stakit the same in sic neutrall and indifferent places as he should 
think gude, with a charge therein to the foresaidis personis to 
assist him to that effect.' Further, the said persons for their 
disobedience, and for not rendering to the said Andro the fortalice 
of .... (word missing, unfortunately), had been lately 
denounced rebels, and they had also disobeyed * utheris letteris of 
tressoun direct lykewise agains them for rendering of the same 
place and fortalice.'" 

Of these facts there is proof in the said letters of horning and 
treason registered in the Sheriff books of Perth, and produced by 
Sir James Stewart. All which, being considered, together with 
all the circumstances of His Majesty's proceedings in the case, "and 
chieflie of the doings and behaviour of Johnne Ogilvie of the Craig 
(being alswa present personallie), affermit be his Heyness to have 
been the chieff author of all the disobedience professit agains his 
Heynes, and of the particular answers of him, and of the foresaidis 
personis gevin thairto," the Lords approve of His Majestie's pro- 
ceedings, and the King, with the aolvice of the said Lords, finds 
and declares that the foresaid letters of treason, commission and 
horning were orderly directed, and lawfully executed, and that the 
- foresaid persons are. to be punished in their " personis, landis, and 
guidis, quhilk kynd of punishment is reservit in his Heyness self." 
He, therefore, ordains James, Master of Ogilvie, and John Ogilvie 
of Craig to be committed to ward within the Castle of Edinburgh, 
and the other persons within the Castle of Blackness, therein to 
remain till relieved by His Majesty. They soon made pe-ace with 
the King and Council, and returned home to Strathardle, as within 
six weeks of their trial at Linlithgow we find both Andrew Spalding 
of Ashintully and Walter Leslie of Morecloich besieged and taken 
captive from their castles there. 

The Earl of Athole and his Countess, Mary Ruthven, with the 
Captain of Blair- Athole Castle, with a large force, on the llth 

27 -2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Nov., besieged and took Morecloich Castle (now Whitefield). The 
following account of the raid is given in the " Records of the 
Privy Council," Vol. V., page 440 : 

"Edinburgh, 9th Feb., 1598. Complaint by Walter Leslie of 
Moircleuch as follows: Upon 11 Nov. last (1597) Johnne, Earl of 
Atholl, and Dame Marie Ruthven, his spouse, with a convocation 
of a great many leiges, in arms, canJfc lo the complainers' house of 
Morcleuch, which was then in the hands of His Majestie's Commis- 
sioners, ' and thair asseigeit his said house ane lang space, intendit 
treassounablie to have rissen fyre, and to have brint and destroy it 
the sam, \\er not the said Walter randerit himselff and the said 
house in his will, and having the said complainer in his handis, he 
causit cary, and transporte him to the castell and fortalice of the 
Blair of Athoill, quhair he detains him in strait firmance and 
captivitie,' without cause or commission. The complainer appear- 
ing by James, Master of Ogilvie, his procurator, but the said Earl, 
his spouse, and George Leslie, Captain of Blair, having failed to 
appear, or to present the said Walter conform to the charge given 
them, the Lords ordain them to be denounced rebels." 

At the same time Sir James Stewart of Auchmaddies, and Sir 
James Stewart of Ballechin, assisted by twenty-seven other Athole 
and Strathardle lairds and their followers, besieged Ashi-ntully 
Castle, and took Andrew Spalding prisoner. For this the Earl of 
Atholl was at once called upon to become cautioner in 500 merks 
for each of them, to appear for trial before the Privy Council. As 
Athole did not produce them for trial, though often called upon to 
do so, for over a year, he was outlawed, and the whole twenty-nine 
principals denounced rebels, and all their goods forfeited, as we 
are told in " Pitcairn's Criminal Trials," Vol. II., page 63 : 

"Nov. 24th, 1598. Beseiging the Place of Ashintullie. Sir 
.lames Stewart of Auchmaddies ; Sir James Stewart of Ballie- 
achan ; James Stewart of Bodinschawis ; Robert Stewart of 
Facastle ; James Stewart of Force (Foss) ; Alex. Robertson of 
Fascallie ; Alex. Stewart of Cultelony ; John Falow younger in 
Balbrogie ; George Cuneistown of Ettradour (these nine did not 
" compear" at the trial) ; Patrick Buttar fiar of Gormack ; David 
Donald of the Grange ; Patrick Blair of Ardblair ; William 
Chalmer of Drumlochy ; James Rarnsay of Ardbikie ; George 
Campbell of Crownan ; William Wood sometime of Latoune ; 
David Campbell of Easter Denhead ; Robert Alexander in Cuper ; 
Colene Falow in Grange ; Patrick Campbell of Keithick ; John 
Sowter in Cupar Grange ; James Blai* in Brunstoune ; Sir Walter 

Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 273 

Rollock Sutor of Duncrub ; Henrie Durhame in Falow ; John 
Pitcairns at the Mylne of Kilour ; David Arnot of Incheok ;, 
Lawrence Name of Alliefargie ; Archibald Herring of Drimmie ; 
and Archibald Campbell of Persar (Persie). Dilatit for Assaging 
of the Place of Assintullie, and taking of Andre Spalding of 
Assintullie coramittit in the month of November in the year of 
God 1597. Perserwar Mi Thomas Hammiltoun advocat. 

"The advocat producet his Maiesties Warrand for continewation 
of the dyett, to the XV. of December nixtocurn. The Laird 
Arbokie and William Wods unity me of Latoune, now of Banblaue, 
David Campbell of Deiiheid, William Chalmer of Drimilochy, 
Archibald Herring of Drimmig, offerit them to as&yse, and dis- 
sassentit to the continewationne ; quhair upoune they askit 
instrumentis, John Pitcarne att the Mylne of Inver Kelour askit 
instrurnentis. The samin day John, Earl of Atholl, oft times 
callit as cautioner and souirtee for Sir James Stewart of Auch- 
maddies, &c., to haif enterit and presentit thame, <fec., was unlawit 
for nocht entrie of the said Sir James, c., for ilk ane of thame in 
the pane of 500 merks ; lykeas the said persons principall wer 
adjudge t to be denuncit rebellis, and put to the home, and all 
their moveable guidis escheit as fugitives." 

The Robertsons of Struan made a raid this year on Glen- 
brierachan, and carried off a lot of spoil, for which damage one 
of the tenants complained to the Privy Council five years after- 
wards, viz. : "At Perth, 7th August, 1602. Complaint by 
William M'Gillemcyle, in Glenbarrachan . . . that five years 
ago Duncan M'Ewane Bayne, in Camvoran, with his accomplices, 
tenants of the Laird of Struan, reft from him five mares worth 
twenty pounds each. The pursuer, appearing by Finlay Fer- 
gusson, in Baledmund, and the Laird of Struan being himself 
present, the said procurator having offered that if Struan would 
hold Duncan off his lands, the complainant would never crave 
Struan for the goods libelled. Struan accepts this condition. 
" Privy Council Records, Vol. VI., page 447." 

1598. Whatever the market price of horses was at this time 
in Strathardle, I find the tenants could always put a good value 
on them when stolen by raiders from the neighbouring clans. 
We have just seen that in the previous year a Glenbrierachan 
tenant claimed 20 each for his horses from Struan. Now we 
find in this year a Straloch tenant claiming double 40 for a 
" red pyat mare," eight years old, from the Campbells of Bread- 
albane, as will be seen from the following extract from the Privy 


274 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Council Records (Vol. VI., p. 462) :" Perth, 9th Sept., 1602. 
Charge had been given to Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy to 
enter John M'Gillevorich at the Beate of Finlarig, his man to 
answer a complaint by Fergus M'Coull in Straloch of reif, from 
him, furth of his lands of Straloch four years ago, of a black mare 
four years old worth thirty pounds ; a red pyat mare eight years 
old worth forty pounds ; a browif* horse two years old worth 
twenty ; and a black mare worth twenty merks. The pursuer 
appearing personally, and Sir Duncan Campbell, by Robert Camp- 
bell, his son, and procurator, the order is to denounce Sir Duncan 
for not entering his said man." 

At this time the feud between the Robertsons of Straloch and 
the Spaldings of Ashintullie was at its height, so that when these 
two powerful barons the natural leaders and defenders of the 
district were at feud with each other their outside enemies had 
a better chance of raiding and plundering the country, an oppor- 
tunity of which their warlike and restless neighbours took full 
advantage, as we have already seen from the number of forays 
made from all quarters on Strathardle about this time. 

So bitter did this feud become now, and so great the slaughter- 
ing and plundering that the Privy Council had to interfere, and 
by an Act of Caution, dated Edinburgh, 17th Feb., 1598, John 
Robertson of Straloch became surety for .500 for his three 
leaders John M'Coneill, alias Duncanson, in Larig ; John Adam- 
son (M'Adie or Fergusson), younger in Larig ; and John Reid, 
alias Fleming, in Minoch, not to harm Andro Spalding of Ashin- 
tullie or David Spalding P.C. Records, Vol. V.,.p. 714. And on 
10th March, Henry Balfour, procurator, registered at Edinburgh 
a bond by James Wemyss of Weriemyln for Andrew Spalding of 
Ashintullie, 1000, not to harm John Robertson of Straloch, John 
Robertson, his son, John Fleming in Menoch, John M'Intoshe in 
Lair, and John Adamson there ; whilst Spalding himself gave a 
bond to same effect, in 300 merks each, for Edwin Cunnyson, 
Robert Malcolm, Donald M'Wattie, - - Gillandreis, and John 
Mitchell all in Ashintullie; John M'lndewarin Dallwoid; Patrick 
Grant, John M'Allane, Andrew Spalding, Donald M'Condoquy, 
and John M'Cairtney in Dalhaugan ; and John M'Coneill 
Grassick, in Spittal, not to hurt John Robertson or his men. 

Annual Assembly. 275 


The Twenty-third Annual Assembly of the Society was held 
in the Music Hall, Inverness, on Thursday evening, llth July, 
1895. There was a large attendance of members and the public. 
Sir H. C. Macandrew discharged the duties of the chair in place 
of the late Chief, Field-Marshal General Sir Patrick Grant, and he 
was supported on the platform by Colonel Macpherson, Inverness ; 
Colonel Macdonald, Portree ; Provost Ross, Inverness ; Provost 
Macpherson, Kingussie ; Mr Chas. Innes, solicitor ; Mr William 
Mackay, solicitor, honorary secretary of the Society ; Mr Steele, 
banker; Mr Alex. Fraser, president of the Gaelic Society of 
Toronto ; Mr Fraser of Merlewood ; Rev. Dr A. C. Macdonald, 
Inverness ; Mr Alex. Mackenzie, of the Scottish Highlander ; Mr 
Dawson, president of the Caledonian Society, Dunedin ; Mr Wm. 
Mackenzie, clothier, Inverness ; Mr P. G. Macdonald, Mile-end ; 
Mr Crerar, Kingussie ; Mr R. F. Matheson, Harris ; Mr Duncan 
Mackintosh, secretary. The party were played on to the platform 
by Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, piper to the Society, who had 
come specially from Gordon Castle to be present at the Assembly. 

The Secretary intimated that apologies for absence had been 
received from the following, among many others : Mackintosh of 
Mackintosh, Cluny Macpherson of Cluny, Mr Duncan Forbes of 
Culloden ; Mr Lachlan Macdonald of Skeabost ; Mr J. E. B. 
Baillie of .Dochfour ; Mr R. B. Finlay, Q.C. ; Rev. Dr Stewart, 
Nether Lochaber ; Captain Chisholm, Glassburn ; Mr John Mackay, 
Hereford ; Sheriff Davidson, Drummond Park ; Sheriff Campbell, 
Stornoway ; Rev. Robert Blair, Edinburgh ; Major Jackson of 
Swordale ; Mr John Henderson, Fortrose. 

Sir Henry C. Macandrew, who was cordially received, said he 
had to thank the Society for asking him to preside on that 
occasion. He desired to congratulate the members upon the 
Society attaining its twenty-third year, when it appeared to be in 
such a nourishing condition. The Society had not only to be 
congratulated upon its large membership and the successful 
meetings held during the year, but it had also to be specially con- 
gratulated upon the records to be left to future generations of the 
work done by it. They were all aware that annually the Society 
published a volume of its Transactions. These Transactions wera 
very valuable. They contained a great deal of information which 
was of permanent interest, not only to this district, but to High- 
landers all over the world. They were also of interest to scholar- 
ship, as evidenced by the interest manifested in them by 

276 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Continental scholars. He thought they might congratulate them- 
selves upon the great amount of Celtic literature which had been 
inspired by the Society, and if there was criticism he might 
venturs to offer it would be this, that an attempt might be made 
to endeavour to trace and record in the Transactions not only the 
genealogies of the Highland families, but also the social condition 
and general history of the Highland people. That had been to 
some extent neglected, and it was desirable that they should have 
every possible contribution to show the state of society in this 
country a long time ago, what kind and manner of men they 
were, and how our remote ancestors lived. So far as his (Sir 
Henry's) researches had gone, he had arrived at the very confident 
opinion that their ancestors were not by any means barbarous or 
savage that they were not very far different from what they 
found in the far remote Highlands at the present time ; and that 
they led not a more useful life but perhaps a more joyous life 
than their descendants did now. Another point was that the 
Inverness Gaelic Society had left its mark- upon the history of the- 
country. It had been mainly instrumental in resisting the pro- 
posal to abolish the tartan in connection with the Cameron 
Highlanders. He suggested i)hat they might influence their 
young men to join their Highland regiments which had such 
distinguished records. He concluded by wishing success to the 
Society, and he hoped he might live for many more years to be 
present at their annual assemblies. 

In the course of the proceedings, the Chairman introduced 
Mr Alexander Eraser, president of the Gaelic Society of Toronto, 
who delivered the Gaelic address. He said : 

Fhir-na-cathrach inbheach, agus a mhnathan 's a dhaoin'- 
uaisle, Tha e 'na thoil-inntinn nach beag dhomhsa a bhi 'giulain 
thugaibh ceud mile failte agus deagh run bho bhur co-luchd- 
cinnidh ann an Canada. Tha mi g' a mheas na shochair a bhi 
fa 'r comhair an nochd, eadhon ged nach ann air mo sgath fhein, 
ach air sgath tir mo dhualchuis a chuir sibh an t-urram so oim. 
Agus tha an ni so mar an ceudua 'n am inntinn gu bheil mi gu 
bhi 'labhairt mu Chanada ri luchd-aiteachaidh Inbhirnis, priomh- 
bhaile na Gaidhealtachd, dlu ri aite mo dhuthchais, agus cha 'n e 
sin a nihain ach a' labhairt ri Comunn Gaidhlig Inbhirnis air a 
bheil cliu ro-shonraichte am measg nan Gaidheal. Cha bhiodh 
e iomchuidh gu 'n leudaichinn air cuspair sain bith aig lethid so 
do choinnidh ; ach ged nach bi mo bhriathran lionmhor bu mhath 
learn innseadh duibh gu bheil 'ur comunn air a mheas mar 
bhuidheann chliuiteach, fheumail agus chumhachdach le Gaidheil 

Annual Assembly. 277 

Chanada, mar le Gaidheil gach tir chein eile. Is toigh leo a bhi 
toirt suil thai* a' chuan air bhur coinnidhean, bhur conaltradh 
maille ri cheile air cuspairean dhiomhair ar canain 's ar 
n-eachdraidh, agus air na h-oidheirpean foghainteach a ta sibh a' 
deanadh a chum cuisean agus suidheachadh bhur duthcha a 
lensachadh ; agus is toigh leo a bhi 'leantuinn ann bhur cos- 
cheuman ann an cuid do na nithibh a tha an cumandas aig na 
Gaidheil air feadh an t-saoghail air fad. Is math an t-eisempleir a 
tha sibh a' toirt dhuinn agus a dh' aindeoin taobh do 'n teid e is 
dual do 'n Ghaidheal tionndadh gu reul-iuil oige, airson treor- 
achaidh agus solais. Mar tha dearbh fhios agaibh cha '11 'eil 
cinneach fo '11 ghreiu a tha air an ceangal oho dluth ri tir am 
breth ris na Gaidheil agus an gradh a thug iad og do na glinn 's 
do na beanntan cha treig gu brath iad. 'S cha '11 e a mhain sin 
ach tha an gradh sin air a mheudachadh a chionn an sgarraidh 
troimh an deachaidh iadsan a dh' fliag, no a dh' f hogradh bho, thir 
.an athraichean. Ged is nor so, gidheadh, tha taobh eile air a 
chuis. Faodar a radh le firinn uach 'eil muinntir chinnich sam 
bith 'eil a fhreumhaicheas cho daingeaii 's cho soirbheachail aim 
an duthaich chein. ris na Gaidheil. 'S ann gun teagamh le firinn 
a dh' fhaodas Clarsair an Doire a bhi seinn air " a ghleann 's an 
robh e og ;" Clarsair nam Beann air cradh an eilthirich Ghaidh- 
ealaich a fagail a dhuthaich ; agus Clarsair na Coille air doirbheachas 
agus deuchainnean nan Gaidheal ann an America. 'S math a 
thig e dhoibhsan do Mhac Leoid, do Mhac Colla, 's do Mhac 
Illeathain a bhi ceileireachd air gaol nan Gaidheal do 'n duthaich : 
tha na fuinn 's na facail araon ceolrnhor agus fior, ach tha e cheart 
cho fior gu bheil na Gaidheil a' tuineachadh 's gach cearn fo 'n 
iarmailt a tha fosgailte do dhaoine, agus gu bheil iad a buinig 
dachaidhean dhaibh fein ann an tiribh chein, a tha cosnadh an 
gradh 's an dilseachd. An Cruthaidhfhear a clmir gaol an dach- 
aidh ann an cridhe a' Ghaidheil chuir Esan mar an ceudna misneach 
na inntinn gu bhi 'fagail a dhachaidh, gu bhi 'togail a chrannchur, 
's gu bhi coimhlionadh ruintean an Fhreasdail air feadh a 
chruinne-che gu leir. Air an aobhair sin tha e iomchuidh gu 'm 
biodh riaghailt a bheatha air a steidheachadh air bunchar seas- 
mhach, a reir teagaisg agus eiseimpleir ar n-athraichean. Fhad 's 
a tha 'Ghaidhealtachd a cur a mach daoine oga gu criochan fad' as 
is chmteach gnr e an dileab is luachrnhoire is urrainn iad a 
ghiulain leo, cridheachan onarach, cogiiisean beo, agus beachdan 
fallain air cuisean mora na siorruidheachd. An latha a chailleas 
na Gaidheil an seann duineala?, na seann chleachdaidhean, na 
seann ria^hailtean 's an t-seann chreideamh faodaidh iad 

278 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

fasainean ura a bhuannachadh ach caillidh iad an seann chliu. 
Agus is i mo bheachd-sa gum faodadh Comunn Gaidhlig 
Inbhirnis tuileadh is na tha iad a' deanamh, a dheanamh 
amis an doigh so. Cha 'n 'eil mi cinnteach nach 'eil mi dol car 
fada 'n am bhriathran 'n uair a their mi gur i mo bheachd gu 'm 
bu choir do 'n Chomumi so a bhi 'toirt tuileadh gnuis na tha iad 
a toirt, do na h-oidheirpean a tl^ air an cur a mach a chum 
beachdan creidimh fallain a chumail beo. Cha 'n 'eil teagamh 
agamsa nach aim mar thoradh bho 'n chreidimh sin a fhuair na 
Gaidheil an t-ard chliu a bhuineas daibh gus an latha diugh. 
Cha 'n urrainn duibh sochair is mo a thoirt do na Gaidheil a tha 
sibh a' cur thugainn gu Canada na oileanachd 'us grunndachadh 
ami an stuaimeachd is ceartas, agus amis na dleasdanasan eile a 
bhuineas do dheagh arach. Tha moraii Ghaidheil ann an 
Canada mu'm biodh cuid agaibh toilichte a chluinntinn. Fogli- 
naidh aon no dha. Tha faisg air tri-fichead bliadhna 's a deich 
bho na bha Uistean Muillearach 'na ghille-buith aims a bhaile so. 
Tha e an diugh na sheann aois comasach air a bhi air ceann a 
ghnothaich bho mhoch gu dubhach agus tha e, mar tha fhios aig 
cuid agaibh, ard ann am meas a cho-luchd duthcha. Buinidh 
Bard Lochfine do na Gaidheil air fad. Tha e suas ri ceithir 
fichead bliadhna 's a deich, ach tha 'n aois a laighe gu h-eutrom air 
a glmalainn. Tha e comasach air a shraid a ghabhail na h-uile 
latha, agus e cho sgiobalt, smearail 's ged a bhiodh e fichead 
bliadhna ni 's oige na tha e Tha e runachadh leabhar eile a 
chlo-bhualadh mus leig e sios pailliun a cheolraidh. Tha mar an 
ceudna an Ridire Daibhidh Mac-a-Phearsain a' cumail ris gu 
h-iongantach, a' sgapadh gu fialaidh 's gu curamach an soibhreas a 
chuir am Freasdal 'na earbsa. Chi sibh bho so nach 'eil tir no 
aimsir Chanada trom air slainte nan Gaidheal a thilg an crannchur 
air a roinntean fharsuing, 's tha mi 'n dochas gum bi dorus 
fosgailte ann an Canada air son na h-uile neach a dh' fhaodas 
aghaidh a thionndadh ri, a thig le tapachd 's le duinealachd iiam 
beann'a lorgachadh a mach an fhortan sin nach 'eil ri fhaotainn,. 
an comhnuidh, anns an tir so. 

The musical part of the programme was well sustained by Mr 
W. L. Cockburn, Miss Margaret Macdonald, Miss Mona Donaldson, 
and Mr R. Macleod, all of whom were encored. Selections of 
Scotch and Highland airs were played by a string band, and reels 
and other dances gave an interesting variety to the proceedings ; 
and Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie supplied pipe music of a high- 
class character. Miss C. Fraser who has played at the Society's 
assemblies for the past number of years-*- -presided at the piano in 
her usual happy and accomplished manner. 

Personal Names. 279 

Mr William Mackay, honorary secretary, proposed a vote of 
thanks to the Chairman and artistes ; and the singing of " Auld 
Langsyne" by the performers brought a most enjoyable and 
successful assembly to a close. 

DECEMBER, 1895. 

At this meeting it was resolved to subscribe <5 5s to the 
proposed Highland memorial to the late Professor Blackie, and to 
send out a circular to the members, soliciting subscriptions. 
Thereafter Mr William Mackay, solicitor, moved, and Mr 
Alexander Macbain, M.A., seconded, that the Society record their 
deep regret at the death of two old and valuable members of 
the Society, viz., Mr Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage, Inverness, 
an honorary chieftain of the Society, and Mr Alex. Mackenzie, 
Silverwells, Inverness, for many years one of the Society's chief- 
tains ; and a committee was formed to draw up and forward 
messages of condolence to the relatives of both the deceased. It 
had been arranged at a Council meeting, held previously, as to 
the Society being largely represented at the funeral of the deceased 
Mr Colin Chisholm, and also to send a wreath to be placed on his 
coffin, and to write Mr Ronald Mackenzie, the Society's piper, to 
play with the other pipers on the occasion. Thereafter Mr Alex. 
Macbain, M.A., read a paper, entitled " The Old Gaelic System of 
Personal Names." Mr Macbain's paper was as follows : 


The names and surnames of the present-day Highlands and 
Isles belong to the various stages of development through which 
the Gaelic-speaking peoples have passed since the Celts parted 
company with the other Aryan races four or five thousand years 
ago. The name Donald, when restored to its pristine purity of 
form as Durnno-valos (" World-ruler"), is, in composition, meaning, 
and main root, full brother to Dumno-rix (" World-king"), the 
name of Caesar's great Gaulish opponent. They both show the 
double-stemmed or "double-barrelled" formation characteristic of 
Aryan or Indo-European names. Fergus and Angus, the latter 
borne by the Apollo of the Gael and meaning " Unique-choice," 
were names common to the two great historic branches of the 

280 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Celtic peoples the Gadelic and Brittonic, inclusive also of the 
Pictish. The Gadelic developments, probably under pre-Gadelic 
racial influences, previous to the introduction of Christianity, 
which produced names like Cu-chulainn, "Hound of Culann ;" 
Nia-segamon, " Champion of Mars ; " and Mog-nuadat, " Slave of 
(the God) Nuada," are now represented by our Macraes and Mac- 
beths (" Sons of Grace and Life") ; Jiut the full development of 
this class of name came with the advent of the Christian Church, 
whose saints took the place of the old gods, and we have thence- 
forward names like Maol-iosa (" Shaveling or Slave of Jesus"), 
Maol-colaim or Malcolm ("Slave of Columba"), Gille-crist ("Ser- 
vant of Christ"), and others such in so plentiful abundance as 
greatly to swamp the old Celtic name-system derived from Aryan 
times. Till the twelfth century only a small fraction of the names 
of either Scottish or Irish Gaels were borrowed from Christian or 
Teutonic sources in Ireland scarcely a twentieth. The earliest 
Scottish document the Book of Deer (twelfth century) contains 
only some 13 per cent, of foreign names ; and it is interesting to 
note that the similar Gaelic portions also contemporary of the 
Irish Book of Kells has a percentage slightly lower even than 
that. The twelfth century was fraught with great change both to 
the history of Ireland and of the Highlands. Teutonic influences 
of all kinds began to prevail, and the feudal system played a con- 
spicuous part in developing the names and surnames of the 
country. Personal names from English, Norse, and general 
Christian sources rapidly usurped the place of the old Celtic 
names, or were accepted as equivalents of like-sounding natives 
names (Roderick for Ruadhraigh, Hector for Eachann). Surnames 
definitely began in the thirteenth century : they were either 
patronymics like M'Culloch and M 'Donald, or epithets like Camp- 
bell (" Wryrnouth"), or place-names like Moray. But, as a matter 
of fact, surnames were by no means universal in the Highlands 
till after the '45. 

The foreign Christian names of Alexander, John, and William 
soon became favourites : Alexander had been popularised by the 
famous Scottish kings of that name ; John has been a favourite 
name everywhere it is the commonest of Christian names, as 
"initli is of surnames its popularity being due, as Dr Isaac 
Taylor remarks, " to the supposed suitability in baptism of the 
Baptist's name." At present it is the commonest Christian name 
in the Highlands, though Donald makes a fair second, as it should 
do. Alexander is third favourite, and thereafter William, which 

Personal Names. 281 

early planted itself in the Highlands, the MacWilliams being 
powerful Celtic claimants for the Scottish throne against King 
William. Nearly 40 per cent, of the population bear one or 
other of the three names John, Alexander, or William ; and if we 
add the Gaelic Donald, the Christian names of nearly half the 
population are accounted for. Indeed, only 2 out of 7 personal 
names or less than 30 per cent. in actual use a s re native, that 
is, of Gaelic origin ; and only some 37 per cent, of the population 
bear native or Gaelic Christian names like Angus, Donald, or 
Duncan, their total being actually fewer than those bearing the 
three foreign surnames of John, Alexander, and William. Of 
Highland surnames, if we omit the mac surnames, about half only 
are Celtic, but many names, like Brown and Livingston, represent 
really Gaelic originals, though in this enumeration they have to 
be counted as non-Gaelic. People with mac surnames form close 
on half the population ; but even the mac surnames are of mixed 
origin. M'Alister, for instance, contains the Gaelic mac with the 
favourite Christian but non-Gaelic name of Alexander. In fact, 
about 40 per cent, of the mac surnames are hybrids of this kind. 
The conclusion we come to is that the Celticity of the surnames 
in use in the Highlands and Isles amounts to 60 per cent, of the 
whole, while the Celticity of the Christian names is less than half 
that percentage. 

Until some eight hundred years ago, hereditary surnames did 
not exist, save in a modified form among the Romans. A man 
had only one name, his personal or Christian name. He might be 
further designated b\ his father's name, as Alexander (son) of 
Philip (or Alexander the Philip's), or by the locality he belonged 
to, as Alexander the Macedonian, or by both these methods, as in 
the Athenian official designations of a citizen, where his " deme" 
or parish was given, such as the designation of the famous orator 
Demosthenes, called " Demosthenes (the son) of Demosthenes (the) 
Paianian." This last method was usual all over the civilised 
world. " Surnames," says Dr Isaac Taylor, " were of very 
gradual introduction. In the case of Ethelred the Unready, 
Edmund Ironside, or Harold Bluetooth, we have not surnames, 
but mere nicknames, which did not descend to the children. 
Hereditary surnames made their appearance in the twelfth cen- 
tury [in England and southern Scotland]; in the fourteenth 
century they are usual rather than exceptional, and even now in 
the mining districts of England and in some parts of Wales [and 

282 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

some Scottish fisher villages] 1 they are not universally used/ 
Noble families that can trace their genealogies back beyond the 
twelfth century have no surname ; the present Queen Victoria has 
no surname, for the name Guelph or Wolf, applied to the royal 
house of Brunswick, is a mere nickname. In the Highlands, sur- 
names are of even later appearance than in England, and charters, 
as well as other documents, are fou^d as late as last century, 
wherein a man is designated by his father's, and, perhaps, his 
grandfather's name. Sometimes a list of ancestry "as long as his 
sword" is required to define some worthy. That the Welsh cousins 
of the Gael were equally devoid of surnames and equally fond of 
genealogical designations may be proved by the following amusing 
extract from the play of "Sir John Oldcastle," printed in 1600 : 

Jiulf/c. What bail ? What sureties ? N 

[)(ivy. Her cozen Ap Rice ap Evan ap Morice ap Morgan ap Llewellyn 
ap Madoc ap Meredith ap Griffin ap Davis ap Owen ap Shinkin Jones. 
J-udyc. Two of the most efficient are enow. 
Sheriff. An 't please your lordship, these are all but one ! 

In the Highlands, even in the seventeenth century, surnames 
are rarely used by ordinary tenants. For instance, in the numerous 
appearances of the Lochiel men in the Privy Council Records, we 
find only a string of patronymics defining a man, together with 
the croft or farm in (note the in) which he dwells. The names of 
householders in Garvamore in Laggan of Badenoch, in the Mac- 
pherson country, for the year 1679, must suffice as a specimen : 
" Allan Mac Iain Gromach in Garvamore, John Mac lain Gromach 
there, Ewen Roy vie Wirrich there, John Mac Coil vie Ruarie 
there, John Mac William vie Phaill there, Duncan Mac Iain vie 

1 In regard to the Buchan fishermen, the following is an extract from an 
article in Blackwood for March, 1842 : 

"The fishers are generally in want of surnames. . . . There are 
seldom more than two or three surnames in a fish-town. Among the twenty- 
five George Cowies in Buckie, there are George Cowie, doodle ; George Cowie, 
carrot ? and George Cowie, neep. A stranger had occasion to call on a fisher- 
man in one of the Buchan fishing villages of the name of Alexander White. 
Meeting a girl, he asked 

" ' Could you tell me fa'r Sanny Fite lives ?' 

' ' Filk Sanny Fite ?' 

' ' Muckle Sanny Fite.' 

' ' Filk muckle Sanny Fite ?' 

' ' Muckle lang Sanny Fite.' 

' ' Filk muckle lang Sanny Fite ?' 

' ' Muckle lang gleyed Sanny Fite,' shouted the stranger. 

" Oh ! it's " Goup the lift" ye're seeking,' cried the girl, ' and fat the 
deevil for dinna ye speer for the man by his richt name at ance ?' " 

Personal Names. 283- 

William vie Phaill there, Ewen Mac Iain vie Coinneach there, 
Angus Mac Gillespie there, Donald Mac Gillephadrick there, John 
dhu Mac (illegible) there, John dhu Mac Finlay oig there, Ewen 
Mac Aonas vie Ewen there." We cannot be certain that in the 
above list we have one true surname ; in fact, we may say with, 
fair certainty that all the designations are patronymics and not 
surnames. No doubt the descendants of these men in Garvamore 
would, in 1745, mostly either be, or assume to be, Macphersons. 1 

Surnames are, so to speak, prefigured in the totem clan system 
of the savage. Indian tribes are divided into clans who represent 
themselves as descended from some animal or natural object which 
they hold in special reverence and which is called their totem. 
Personal names are given to children, however, in the most hap- 
hazard fashion ; some accidental circumstance at birth may decide 
the matter, with names like " Morning Star," " West Wind," and 
" Eldest Daughter," as a result. But even here civilised races 
tread closely in the path of the savages. Some names of ancient 
Rome, like Lucius (born by day). Manius (born in the morning), 
and Quintus (5th son) have been adopted on like primitive 
principles, and to a similar cause are due such modern names as- 
Noel (Christmas), denoting that a child was born on Christmas 
day; and the popularity of Marcel and Marcelle (Gaelic and early 
Irish Marsali), Jules and Auguste is due to the children being- 
born in March, July or August, not to the ancient names of 
Marcius, Julius and Augustus. We may bold it as certain that 
many children, in old Gaelic times, born on certain saints' days 
were baptised as the maol or yille of these saints ; and the old 
Irish name of Maol-mocheirigh, " Slave of Early-rising," may no> 
doubt be placed beside the Roman Manius as explained above. 

The names characteristic of Aryan culture were not given in. 
this hap-hazard fashion. Custom regulated name-giving. The 
name-system of the ancient Hindoos, Persians, Greeks, Slavs, 
Teutons, and Celts all descended linguistically from the same 
Aryan parent people is founded on the same principles, and is, 
in fact, an heirloom, in each case, from their Aryan ancestors. 
The Aryan personal name was usually a compound, two stems 
being welded into one whole. Thus in Sanskrit we have Deva- 
dattas, " God-given;" in Persian, Xsay-arsan or Xerxes, "Ruler of 
Men;" in Greek Dio-genes, "God-begotten;" Slavonic Vladi-mir, 
" Famed-in-rule " (Gaelic flath-mhor exactly) ; Teutonic Heime- 
rich or Henry, " Home-ruler ;" and Gaulish " Devo-gnata, " God- 

1 Compare the case of the Buchau fishermen mentioned in the note to page 

282 above. 

2S4 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

begotten " ( = Gr. Diogenes). Both the Brittonic and Gaelic 
branches of Celtic have abundant examples of names so formed : 
Old Breton Morcant, Welsh Morgan, Pictish Morcunn (Book of 
Deer), " Sea-bright " (Mori-cantos) ; Old Welsh Mailcum, Maglo- 
cnnus of (Hildas, Pictish Mailchon, " High-chief ; Old Breton and 
Welsh Tutgual, Irish Tuathal, " Folk-ruler" (Touto-valos, where 
tmito- Gaelic iuath). The meaning othe names belonged to the 
strenuous and pleasant aspects of life, such as Religion, Strength 
and Success in W r ar, Fame and Name, Headship and Kingship, 
Prosperity and Goodness, and also accidental circumstances of 
Birth. Animal names also entered into these compounds such 
animals as those whose qualities or uses belonged to the ideas just 
mentioned. Among the Greeks and Teutonic nations, and to a 
small extent among the Celts, it was a custom- by no means 
universal to insert in a child's name one of the elements which 
were found compounded in the father's or mother's name : thus, 
Greek Z)eno-krates, son of Z>mo-kles ; YAi-krates, son of Euru- 
kmtex ; and Andro-m^.s, son of Niko-\s\Q. Teutonic examples (of 
the 8th and 9th centuries), are : JFa/-bert, son of Wald-rum ; 
Wald-forf and Wolf -bert, sons of Hram-6er ; JZthel-wu\f, King of 
England (839-858), father of Ethel-\*M, Ethel-bert, and Ethel-red ; 
W-mund (king from 940 to 946), father of jEW-wig and Ead-g&Y. 
This was, indeed, the only method of showing descent, as 
hereditary surnames did not exist. There are also one or two 
cases of this in the genealogies of the Welsh kings, as Cadwaladr 
(died 682), son of Cadwallon, son of Cad van ; or Artgloys, son of 
Artbodgu, son of Bodgu. Faint traces of it exist in Ireland : 
Conn (123-157) is father of Connla ; his grandson Cormac (Corb- 
niac) is father of Coirbre (Corb-re) " Mac-Chariot father of 
Charioteer." Professor Rhys draws attention to another method 
of showing close relationship, which also existed in Greece. 
" Another way,'' he says, " of preserving an indication of relation- 
ship was sometimes practised still more economically, namely, by 
merely reversing the order of the elements of the compound, as, 
for instance, in the case of an inscription* from South Wales, which 
commemorates Vendubarros, son of Barrivendos. This would be 
in Irish Finnbharr, son of Barrfhinn, and in Welsh Gwynvar, son 
of Berwyn, or White-head son of Head-white. A fashion of this 
kind is not quite extinct in Wales, where you may find that John 
Roberts is the son of Robert Jones, or Rowland Thomas the son 
<>f Thomas Rowlands." He then compares similar cases from Old 
German, Slavonic, Sanskrit, and Greek : 0. Ger. Berht-hari and 
Hari-berht, English Herbert; Servian Drago-mil and Milo-drag ; 
and Greek Doro-theos, son of Theo-doros. 

Personal Names. 235- 

This leads us to the consideration of the resultant meaning of 
these compounds. No doubt originally regard was had to the 
resulting meaning of the compound ; the rule in the Aryan langu- 
ages was that the prefixed word should qualify the other to which 
it was prefixed. Thus Theo-doros ought to mean and does mean 
" Gift from god," God-gift ; but when, under the exigencies of 
family custom, the elements are reversed and result in " Gift-god," 
the meaning is not satisfactory. Yet the Greeks managed on the 
whole well to avoid contradictory or absurd meanings. Not so, how- 
ever, the Teutons. There we meet with such compounds as " Peace- 
war," "Peace-spear," "War-peace" (Hildif rid, Gunfrid," War-peace;" 
Fridihilde, Fredegunde, "Peace-war;" Fredegar, "Peace-spear). 
On this aspect of the question as to the meaning of ancient 
personal names, Mr Bradley, in speaking of Gothic names, says : 
" There are many books which profess to explain the meanings of 
Anglo-Saxon or Old German names ; thus Frederick is often said 
to mean ' one who rules in p'eace.' This, however, is altogether a 
mistake. . . . The true explanation is that Fred (peace) was- 
one of a number of which it was customary to use as beginnings of 
names, and ric (ruler) was one of the words which it was customary 
to use as endings. Any word belonging to the one list might be 
joined to any word in the other list, even if the two were quite 
contradictory in stnse. There are, for instance, ancient German 
names, which, if translated literally, would be ' peace-spear ' and 
'peace- war.'" 

Another feature of Aryan names, which seems to have existed 
in Aryan times, is the curtailment of the commonest compound 
names, so as to form " pet " names or, at any rate, short forms of 
the long name. It was the last element of the compound that 
usually suffered contraction or disappearance. The process is one 
that still goes on, not merely in dealing with personal names, but 
also with other words in a language. Thus we speak of " consols " 
for "consolidated annuities," "pops" for "popular concerts," 
"zoo" for "zoological garden," "lager" for "lager-beer," and 
" bus " for " omnibus." Diminutive or pet forms occur in the case 
of nearly every one of our modern Christian names Thomas, 
becomes Tom ; Elizabeth, Liz ; Alexander, Sandy ; Margaret, Meg- 
or Peg; Patrick, Pat; Cecilia, Cis; William, Will; Matilda, Maud ; 
Donald, Donnie or Dan ; Bridget, Biddy. The early Aryan langu- 
ages present plenty of examples of this contraction. The first 
member of the compound word remains intact ; the second suffers 
considerable, if not total, abridgment. Greek Demo-sthas stands for 
Demo-sthenes, and Kleommis stands for Kleo-menes, and no doubt 

i>86 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

for Kleo-medes, Kleo-medon, and any other with m beginning the 
second element; Zeuxis stands for Zeux-ippos, but Zeuxis may 
also do duty for Zeuxi-demos, Zeuxi-theos, &c., in fact, for the 
group with Zeuxi as the first element. Tn Old High German Sicco 
stands for Sige-rich, ISig-bert, Sig-frid. In Norse Goddi probably 
stood as pet form for all compounds in prefixed God-; similarly 
Gunni for Gunn-arr, Gunn-bjorn, Gum^olfr, Gunn-steinn, &c. The 
Celtic languages show similar contractions. Gaulish has many 
names in -llos, -/os, and the like, which are evidently curtailments 
of longer names, such as Toutillus and Toutius for Touto-bocios, 
Touto-bodiacus, Toutiorix, &c., possibly : so Catullus, Eoud-illos, 
Curb-ilia, Ep-illos, and especially names in -acos, as Cat-acus, which 
appears in Old Welsh as Catoc, later Catawc, now Cadog. This 
was the name of the famous Welsh saint, and we know, for 
we are told, that it is a diminutive representing the full 
form Catmail, which was the sajnt's baptismal name, the 
other, though now the only one, being a pet form. Catmail 
stands for Celtic Catu-maglcs, "War-lord," in Irish Cath- 
mal or Cathmhaol, whence the modern M'Cavell, M'Cambil, 
Coyle. In regard to Catacus acting as short for Catu- 
maglos, Professor Rhys says : "So far as we understand the 
relationship between these names, Catawc stood connected no more 
nearly with Catmail or Cadvail than with Cadwallon, Cadvan, or 
any other of the names beginning with the word cat, now cad, 
battle." That is to say, Catacus, Catullus, and such diminutives, 
which show no trace of the second element at all, must have stood 
for any or all of the catfw-compoimds. We shall find later that 
Gaelic names partake of the same characteristic curtailments as 
other Aryan names, and lend proof to the contention that the 
diminutive of the first element may stand for any compound 
names made with it. 

Outside these double-barrelled names and their diminutives 
there are other names which may represent Aryan ancestry. In 
Greek names, for example, we find some "calendar" names, 
derived from the festal day of the month on which the child was 
born or named, as Soterios, from the feast of Zeus Soter ; but there 
is little of the unimaginative Roman method of naming children as 
5th or 10th, Quintus or Decimus. Names showing dedication to, 
or claiming protection from, the gods, are fairly common ; such as 
Dionysios, "dedicated to (or born on the festal day of) Dionysos," 
whence we get our Dennis. Demigod and Hero names were rarely 
applied to human beings, such as Perseus. Names like Hector 
.(" Defender," " Holder," root segh, hold), Helene (" Shining one") 

Personal Names. 287 

and Aineias (" Praise," a diminutive), whence we get our Hector 
(Gaelic Eachann), Ellen, and ^Eneas, maybe regarded as belonging 
to the demigod series. Names from animals, plants, and natural 
objects were fairly numerous among the Greeks, but nothing near 
such favourites as among the Teutons and Celts. The use of 
animal names for naming is common all the world over and at all 
times : the bear, the lion, and the wolf were favourites for their 
strength, and, sooth to say, ferocity. 'The horse was a great 
favourite in Greek compound names, though it was not used 
simply like Lukos and Leon (Wolf and Lion). Nor was the dog's 
name used simply, as it was among the Gaels of old. In regard 
to a name like Lukos (" Wolf"), Professor Zimmer thinks that 
both Lukos and Lukon, like Gaelic Aed (" Fire") and Aedan, are 
simply diminutives of longer names like Luk-agoras, Luko-leon, 
&c. The name Stephen, from Greek Stephanos, garland, may 
belong to the double-barrelled forms, being probably a diminutive. 
The name Peter, from Gr. petros, a rock, is a translation from the 
Hebrew. Names from rank and office are generally swallowed up 
in the compound names, but there are one or two official and 
craft names used ; our George is from Georgos, farmer. Gregory, 
Gregor, and M'Gregor come from the Greek name Gregorios, mean- 
ing "Watchful." Names, also, existed derived from those of 
towns, provinces, and of even foreign nations, and foreign names 
also got a place. 

To get a good conception of the Aryan name system in its late 
developments, before attacking the difficult problem of Gaelic com- 
pound names, we shall examine the Teutonic personal names now 
in use in the Highlands, or once in use and now forming part of 
the Mac names. In the quotation above from Mr Bradley, we 
were warned not to expect much consistency in the meaning of 
Teutonic names, for the component parts of the double-barrelled 
names were brought together on a somewhat rough and ready 
principle. Some stems were usual as prefixes and others as 
suffixes, and a few others could be used as both. According to 
the whim of the moment possibly, or to the need of marking 
kinship, the stem chosen from the first list was prefixed to one 
from the second list. In the following two lists, placed side by 
side, the first column contains root forms which usually begin 
names, and the second column contains roots which usually end 
names. These roots or stems are modernised. An attempt at 
classification is also made under the heads of Religion, War, 
Property or Riches, Nobility, Fame, and Courage : 

288 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Religion Gud, god, god frid, fred, urd, peace 

Peace Os, As, 0, An, Anses, gods mund, protection 

Rogn, regin, gods, counsel win, friend * 

Thor, the god Thor .red, counsel 

A If, elf, fairy ward, ward 

Hun, hum, giant bert, bright 

Ercan, archi, pure * ketill, kell, kettle 

War Her, har, army wig, warrior 

Sig, victor}' gar, ger, spear 

Rand, shield helm, helmet 

Property Ead, ed, possessions ric, rick, ruler 

Uodal, ul, patrimony hard, hardy 

Rule Heim, h<>n, home leif, lave, heritage, relic 

Wil, will wald, old, wielder 

Nobility Ethel, al, noble bald, bold 

Fame Hrod, rod, ro, praised ivulf, olf, wolf 

Spirit Hlod, lud, famous bern, burn, bear 

By combining words from the one list with words from the 
other we get our best known names. Godfrey, older Godefrid, 
means "God's peace " (god frid) ; the Norse is slightly different 
Gudhrodhr ; in old Gaelic it was borrowed as Gofraidh, later 
Goraidh, a favourite name among the Macdonalds, among whom 
Gorry and M'Gorry abound in the older documents. 

Osmund, Oswald, Osburn = Gods' protection, Gods' ruler, 
Gods' bear. 

Olave, older Anlaf, "Relic of the Gods," was in Gaelic 
Amhlaibh (older Amlaib), now found in M'Aulay. 

Osgar, the Gaelic hero, does not mean "Gods' spear," which was 
a common Teuton name (Norse Asgeirr) ; it is a native name, 
despite Prof. Zimmer's assertion to the contrary. So, too, Oisean 
is not from 6s win, another common name " Gods' friend " or 
" Friend in God ; " as we shall see it means " Little deer." 

Ronald, "Gods' ruler," is in Gaelic Raonull, whence Clan-ranald; 
Norse Rognvaldr, Engl. Reynold. 

Thor, the god, gives us several names: Thor-mund, "Thor's 
protection," is 3onfused with Thormodr, " Thor-minded," as G. 
Tormailt and Tormoid, charters giving Eng. as Tormond and 
Tormode. Thorketill and Thorkell, " Thor's sacrificial kettle," an 
instrument famous in Northern religious rites, remains of which, 
mounted on cars, have been found, give us M'Corcodale and 
Torquil, M'Corkle. 

M'Askill is from As-kell, "Kettle of the Anses." 

Personal Names. 

Further English names from Thor are Thorold, Thorolf, 

Alfred means " Fairy counsel." 

Humfrey means " Giant or great peace." 

Archibald appears in Domesday as Arcenbald and Erchenbald; 
it means " Pure or bright bold." The Gaelic equivalent is 
Gilleasbuig, Gillespie ; why such should be the case is a puzzle. 
Arkembaldus de Duffus appears in 1203-34 in the Moray 

Herbert and Harold mean "Bright warrior" and "Army- 
wielder," the latter being the same as Eng. herald. From Harold 
comes M'Raild, G. M'Ra'ilt. The elements in Harold are inverted 
in Walter, whose diminutives Watt and Wattie have given the 
clans M'Quat, M'Quattie, M'Watt, and M'Wattie, the latter a 
branch of the Buchanans once numerous. 

Sig, victory, gives Sigurd, the name made famous by the 
Orkney earls, allied to Sieg-fred, "Victory-peace," of the ether 
Teutons. Sigtrygg, "True-victory," whence Sitric, gives us the 
southern name of M'Kettrick. 

Randolf means "Wolf-shield." 

William or Wilhelm means " Helmet of resolution," denoting 
or claiming energy in war. Hence also Wilfred. 

Edmund, Edwin, Edward, Edwy ( = Edwig), and Edolf (common 
in old Lennox), come from ead or ed, " possessions, riches." 

Ulrick comes from Old German Uodal-rich, explained by a 
Latin gloss as "a paterna hereditate dives," rich hereditarily. The 
name came into Scotland with feudalism, and was confused with 
the Gaelic Ualgharg, " High-temper," which is no doubt the old 
Galwegian Ulgric. One of the Kennedys of Dunure fled to 
Lochaber some four centuries ago ; his name was Ulrick or 
Walrick Kennedy. From him the northern Kennedys are called 
in Gaelic M'Ualraig or M'Uaraig. 

Henry, " Home-ruler," is in G. Eanraig, whence the Clan 
M'Kendrick, Englished also as Henderson. 

Ethel, with its short form Al, gives such names as Ethelfred, 
Ethelbert, Ethelbald ; Alwin or Alwyn is the name in the Paisley 
charters for the first two Earls of Lennox; the corresponding 
Gaelic is, of course, Ailin, or Allan, a name of very different origin. 
There was an Old Gaelic Ailen or Ailene, but the word that seems 
to have really prevailed was the Breton Alan, popularised by the 
early Stewards. It seems from the root al, cherish. Albert is a 
late importation, " Nobly-bright." 


290 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Rod or Roy glory or fame, as also Lod, Lud, of like force, were 
favourite prefixes in names : Robert, "Glorious brightness;" Roger, 
" Glorious spear ;" Roderick, " Glorious ruler ;" Rodolf or Rolf or 
Ralf, "Glorious wolf;" Ludwig or Ludovick or, through French, 
Louis, " Famed warrior," are all well known names. The Clan 
M 'Robbie comes from Robert. Boderick is made to do duty for 
Gaelic Ruadhraigh, " Red-prince." t is true that Prof. Zimmer 
has more than once declared that Gaelic Ruadhri, older Ruadri, 
comes from the Norse Hrorekr ( = Hrofr-rekr, Rod-ric) ; but how 
he accounts for the G. d in Ruadri, which the Norsemen pro- 
nounced Rufrri, he does not say. Fortunately for the truth of the 
matter, the Norse Hrorekr has left descendants in southern Scot- 
land. We have Margaret M'Rerik, in Wigton, in 1490 ; Wm. 
M'Rerick, Edinburgh, 1490; a M'Crerik was burgess of Wigton 
in 1579. The mac was also dropped : Jo. Rerik de Dalbaty, 1469 
and 1488 (afterwards Redik of Dalbeattie) ; Henry Rerik, Kirk- 
cudbright, 1501, and Fergus Rerik. The borrowed form, which is 
phonetically what we should expect from Hrorekr, is very unlike 
Ruadhraigh or Rory of the Gaelic. 

Some elements of the second column of our lists come first : 
Frederick, " Peace-ruler," diminutive Fritz ; Gerald, " Spear- 
wielder;" Richard, "Hardy king;" Baldred and Baldwin, which 
last becomes in a Gaelic and Scotch pet form Baldy ; and Bernard 
( = Bern-hard), " Hardy wolf." 

Gilbert is no doubt from Gislebert of Domesday Book, meaning 
" Bright-hostage." Its resemblance to the G. Gillebride, " Bridget's 
servant," ensured it a permanent place in the Highlands ; its pet 
form Gibbon was an especial favourite in Perthshire at an early 
date, and hence the Clan M 'Gibbon. Gibson is from Gib, the 
ancestor of Gibbon. 

Charles is from the Old German Karl, originally signifying 
"man," "goodrnan;" the Scotch carle is the same word. The 
modern Gaelic equivalent is Tearlach, which is itself of native 
origin, being in Middle Gaelic Toirrdhealbhach, applied to Charles 
M'Lean, the ancestor of Dochgarroch ; the best Gaelic spelling 
then should have been Tairdhealbhach or Teardhalbhach, Irish 
Tairdhealbhach, Early Irish Toirdelbach, "Well-shaped," from 
dealbh and the prefix tair, " over." 

Hugh, as it stands, means " intellect, thought," but the older 
Hugo shows that it is a pet form of a compound name or names. 
It was a favourite name in mediaeval England and Scotland ; its 
pet forms were Huet, Hugon, Hutchin or Scotch Hucheon, 
Huggin. Hence our northern Hutchiesons and Hutchinsons. In 

Personal Names. 291 

Gaelic was a name i : early times even more popular than Hugh 
in England ; this was Aodh, earlier Gaelic Aed, 7th century 
Aidus, spelt in the 15th century documents as simply Y. It was 
the distinctive name of the Mackays of Sutherland ; in fact, 
Mackay is M'Aoidh. The word simply means " fire ;" but Pro- 
fessor Zimmer maintains that it is a pet or reduced form of a 
double-stemmed name, such as Aed-gal, " Fire of Valour ;" and 
this may be true. Csesar's great Gaulish friends and foes were 
the Aeduij " men of fire;" seemingly they were the first Mackays ! 
Unfortunately for Aodh, it was in the Highlands equated with 
Hugh ; in late Gaelic both words sadly wanted some phonetic 
strengthening, and the diminutive of Eng. Hugh offered itself 
Hutchin, which became Gaelic Huisdean. Whether the Norse 
Eysteinn, a name undoubtedly common in the Isles under the 
Norse, helped in the transformation, it is at present too early to 
decide. The Latin Austin, which in the 17th century was a 
favourite rendering of Huisdean of Gaelic, need not be considered 
in the history of the name. Altogether, the evidence points to 
Huisdean, the supplanter of the ancient Aodh, being from 
Hutchin or Hucheon, a diminutive of Hugh. Hence the Clan 
Mackay, the southern Mackie, M'Ghie, the North Irish Magee. 

Among the Celtic-speaking peoples, the Gauls and the early 
Britons belong to the same stage of name-giving as the Greeks. 
We find the two stems in full welded together : Teuto-mato-s, 
" People's good ;" cf. Irish Tuathchar (Touto-caro-s) ; Catu- 
maros, Macpherson's Cathmhor, " Great in battle," W. Cadfor ; 
Mori-rex ( = Mori-reg-s), "Sea-king;" cf. Ir. Muirchu ( = Mori-cuo, 
" Sea-hound "). As in the Teutonic names discussed above, the 
Brittonic and Gaelic names have lost the stem vowels, and are 
mere stumps : Catu- and mdro- against G. cat/i and mor. Unlike 
the Teutons, however, the early Irish do not seem to have,' to any 
great extent, formed new names by using these " stumps." The 
names which we meet with were formed at the time when the 
vowels of the stems still existed ; when, in fact, the first element 
ended in a thematic vowel. The new name-system developed 
under Christianity debarred the Teutonic " stump " stage, at any- 
rate in any appreciable degree. 

Some examples of Gaulish and early British names may be 
given: (1) Pure double-stemmed forms Dubno-talus, "World- 
brow," Argio-talus, " Silver-brow," the reverse of the Pictish Talorg 
and Talorgan (whence the modern place-name Kiltarlity, and 
possibly the Galwegian clan name M'Lurg, oldest form Maklurk) ; 
Epo-meduo-s, " Keen about horses," Epo-redo-rix, " Race-course- 

292 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

prince ;" Viro-manduos, " Man-minding," Teutonic Wer-mund, Gr. 
Alexandros ; Medu-genus, " Mead-born " ( = Gr. Dionysios, and 0. 
Ir. Mael-na-bracha) ; Vasso-rex, " King of men (serfs)," Cluto-rix, 
0. W. Clotri, " Famed-king," an Irish Clothri, Bitu-rix, " World- 
King," Orgeto-rix, "King of slayers ;" Cuno-belinus, " High-bright- 
one " = Cynibeline, Cuno-barrus, "High-headed," an Irish Conbharr 
as it were ; Cassi-vellaunos, " Elegantly-good," cassi being from kad, 
fair, and found in the German Chatti, now Hesse, Cassi-talos, " Fair- 
browed." (2) Prepositional and adverbial compounds, which are 
common also in Greek Ande-com-bogios (" Hyper co-breaker "), 
the prep, ande, before, against, and com, with, Ande-camulos, 
"Hyper-Mars;" Ate-bodvos, " Re-bellis " (Bodva = Bellona, the 
war-goddess), At-epo (cf. Gr. Anth-ippos), Old G. Aithech ; Ex- 
cingus, " Out marcher," Ex-obnus, " Fear-less," a Gaelic " Eas- 
uamhan-ach ;" Ver-Cassivellaunus, Ver-Cingetorix, where ver = super, 
Vor-tigernus, "High-lord," Old Irish Foirtchern ; Su-carus, Old 
Breton Hocar, W. Hygar, G. sochar-ach, an adjective. (3) 
Diminutives and pet names Eppillus, Medullus, Catullus, Condus 
(Ir. Conn), Condollius (cf. Ir. Connla) ; Camul-inus, Carat-inus, 
Aged-inns (cf. G. aghaidh, face) ; Sen-acus (Ir. Seanach, sean, old), 
Carat-acus (Ir. Carthach, car, dear) ; Divi-co (deivo-s, god), Seneca, 
Boudicca, G. buadhach, boidheach, " Victoria." 

In meaning, the Gaulish names bring out the same ideas as the 
Greek and other Aryan peoples who adhered to the Aryan system 
of names Religion (deivo- compounds, Camulos, " Mars," Esus, 
Taranis), War (catu-, bodvo- as Bodvo-gnatus, "War-sprung"), 
Strength and Rule (vellauno- and sego- compounds = Teutonic sig, 
-rix), Fame and Name (cluto- compounds, cuno- " high," cassi- 
fine), Prosperity, Property, and Goodness (brig or " burgh" com- 
pounds, su- and dago-, " good," compounds). Also animal names 
and diminutives or compounds therefrom were used : Cattos, 
"cat," Artos and its diminutives, "bear," Luernios, "Wolfish," 
Gabra, "Goat or Horse," and Gabrius, Gabrillus; Epaticus, Epillos, 
from epo-s, horse. The dog is no doubt represented in the many 
own-prefixed names, but this also means "high," and it is impos- 
sible to differentiate the two meanings in the resultant forms. 

A glance at .the stock of roots and style of the old Brittonic 
names is of interest and importance as bearing on those of the 
sister Celtic dialect of the Gael. We take the most important 
names found in the Old Breton ; they have been compendiously 
gathered together in M. Loth's excellent " Chrestomathie 
Bretonne," pp. 104-181. The roots are arranged here in two 

Personal Names. 


columns, as were the Teutonic ones, the first column containing 
stems usual as prefixes, the second stems usual as suffixes :-. 

Anau, inspiration 
Ar, by, G. air 
Argant, silver, G. airgiod 
Art, bear, so G. 
Bresel, war, so 0. Ir. 
Bri, dignity, G. brigh 
Bud, victory, G. buaidh 
Cat, Cad, fight, G. cath 
Cint, Cent, first, G. ceud 
Clot, Glut, famed, Ir. cloth 
Cc, Co7n, with, so Ir. 
Con, Gun, high, Ir. con- 
Dre, Tre, through, G. tre 
Drich, aspect, G. dreach 
Dumn, world, G. Domhn- 
Eu, kind, Tr., G. Eo- 
Finit (?) 

Gal, valour, G. gal 
Gleu, bright, G. gle 
Had, generous 
Hidr, Hird, hardy, W. hydr 
Hin, temper, time, G. sian 
Ho, Hu, good, G. so- 
la rn, iron, G. iarunn 
lud, combat 
lunflunet, light 
Loies, Loes 

Mael, chief, 0. Ir. mdl 
Maen, stone 
March, horse, G. marc 
Mat, good, G. math 
Mor, sea, G. muir 
Rat, favour, G. rath 
Ri, king, G. rigk 
Jtis, rush (?), W. Rhys 
Rit, run, G. with 
Roiant, Roen, royal 
Sul, from Lat. sol 
Tan, fire, Tanet, G. teine 
Tri, three, Fr. tres, G. tri 
Tut, folk, G. tuath 

-bidoe, Gaelic bith 

-bill, Ir. bil, good 

-biu, -uiu, G. beb 

-brit, though t,W. bryd 

-cant, bright 

-car, dear, so G. 

-ci, -ki, dog, G. cu 

-cum, dear, W. cu, G. caomh 

-delu, form, G. dealbh 

-deluoc, shapely, G. dealbhach 

-detnuid, felix 


-ganoc, root gen, G. gin 

-gen, genus, G. gin 

-gnou, -nou, known 

-gost, choice, Ir. -gus 

-hael, generous 

-hitin, -heten 

-hocar =ho-car 

-hoiarn, iron, G. iarunn 


-laian, religious 

-liuuet, coloured, G. li 

-Ion, full, G. Ian 

-louuen, joyous, G. Ion 

-mael, chief, Ir. mdl 

-man, man 

-marcoc, cavalier, Ir. marcach 

-ruin, W. min, coast 

-monoc, courteous 

-mor, great, G. mar 

-tiern, lord, G. tighearna 

-uual, -wald, W. gual, G. -all 

-uualatr, chief, root val 

-uuallon, Gaul -vellaunos 

-uualt, cf. -uual 

-uuant, striking 

-uueten, fighter 

-uuobri = uuo-bri 

-uuocon, great, =uuo-con 


294 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Urb, Ur, Gaul Verio- -uuolou, light 

Uueten, fighter, root vie, fight -uuotal = uuo-tal, brow 

Uuin, white, G. Jinn 

Uuiu, worthy, G. fiu 

Uuo, Guo, sub, G. fo 

Uuoet, Uuod = *vo-ate 

Uuor, Uur, super, Gaul. Ver, G. Fer 

Uuoret, helper, = uuo-rit, G. foir 

To the second column add the diminutives in -n (-on, -an, -in) and 
-c (-oc, -ic), whence comes a numerous progeny of names. 

The old Gadelic names partake of the same features as are 
found in Greek, Gaulish, and Old Breton. The development in 
the direction of names like Cu-chulainn, "Hound of Guiana," Mog 
Nuadat, " Slave of (the god) Nuada," and Maol-coluim, " Shaveling 
of Columba," must be treated apart. To say the least of it, it 
looks non-Aryan, and therefore, possibly pre-Celtic, the latter 
being Professor Rhys's view. 

The development of diminutives and pet forms is the most 
remarkable feature of the names which we meet with 011 Gadelic 
ground from the introduction of Christianity onwards to the 
advent of the Norse. Adamnan's Latin even abounds in dimin- 
utives of ordinary words filiolus, especially the vocative filiole, 
" sonny !" navicula, viculus, campulus, rivulus, versiculus, lectuhis, 
monasteriolum, <fcc., taking it at random at the end of Book I. The 
form monasteriolum, with its ecclesiastical caress, reminds us of 
the use of mo, my, before saints' names, which found vogue at 
this period, usually also with the diminutive -6c at the end, as 
Mo-cholm-6c, " My Saint Golum or Colman," Mo-ern-oc, " My 
Saint Email" (Kil-marnock), Mo-laisi, " My Saint Lais-ren," &c. 

The usual diminutives, practically extruding all others, are in 
n (-dn, -in, -Ine, -e'ne), and 6c : G> -ag and -an. True, we may add 
stems in -io-, 0. IT. -e, as Bairre for Ban-find ; and also -ack. The 
-6c is explained as an agglutinate of oc or 6ac, G. bg, young ; thus 
Aed-6c meant " Young Aed." This derivation fully explains the 
accent being on the 6, that is, the vowel being long in Old and 
Modern Irish. The diminutive -dn is less easily explained. Prof. 
Zimmer has equated -dn with Greek -on ; but this is contrary to 
Gadelic phonetics. No unaccented long vowel of Celtic or Aryan 
times now or in Old Irish remains long ; and his own remarks 
about G. marcach as against W. marchawc should have warned 
him against equating -ow with -dn. The Celtic termination -dco-s, 
is short in new Gadelic and long in new Brittonic. So -dn is from 
some compensatory lengthening and fairly late too in the history 

Personal Names. 295 

of the language. There is, in fact, as in ceud (for centum), a con- 
sonant lost before the n of -an. The Ogam monuments abundantly 
testify that this is g : thus, Maolan is Mailagnas. 1 The -gno- 
or -gnio- is from the root gen, beget, Gr. -yevTjs, practically meaning 
" son of " or " descendant from," its English analogue being -ing. 
Stokes has accounted for the long vowel a as from apo, from, which 
would become ao or a, the form being apo-gno-s, descendant. This 
theory seems unnecessary. The thematic vowel in Celtic com- 
pounds was generally o, though i and u stems usually resisted 
assimilation ; in the later Gaelic period this final o was becoming 
a ; the Ogam monuments prove it, and modern Gaelic shows the 
rule consistently carried out, even accented roots in o becoming a 
from the influence of succeeding " broad " sounds. Hence Mail- 
agnas is for an older Mailo-gnos ; and Mailagnas naturally becomes 
Mailan ; the dropping of this g took plnce within the first five 
centuries of our era, and hence the sound still, though unaccented, 
remains long in 0. Irish. It is short in Gaelic, as is that in -6c, 
namely -ag. When the stem ended in an i or e before the -gn- or 
the -gnio- the result was -ine or -in and -e'ne or -en (Ben-igno-s gives 
Ben-en because of the broad o or a at the end ; in fact, Benignus 
was pronounced Benegnas). Sometimes the two diminutives were 
added, -6c and an, always in the order -oc-dn (-uc-an), and the -6c 
not only lost its length of vowel, but the o was assimilated to the 
stem vowel of the main root. Hence we get from Old Ir. mace, first 
diminutive maccdn, second maccucdn ; lutdn, little finger, lutucdn, 
now ludagdn ; also 0. Ir. cride, heart, cridecdn, which would in 
modern G. be cridheagan. Hence come proper names like Aedacan, 
now Aodhagan, with mac becoming M'Egan ; Flanducan, now 
Flaunagan ; old Muirecan (from muir, sea), becomes Muirigean, 
even 0. Ir. mail, not maol, giving Maellecan and becoming Milligan 
in Southern Scotland. 

These diminutives stand as pet names for double-stemmed 
names. This can be proved in two or three striking cases. We 
are told in one of the saints' lives, and also practically in Adamnan's 
" Columba," that Bishop Finnbarr had also the " agnomen " Fin- 
nian ; Finnian was, in fact, a pet form for Finnbarr (Findbarr) or 
" White-head." In the life of Finnian or Finden of Clonard, we 
are told that he was baptised Finluch, but that his usual name 
was Finnian, the place where he was baptised bearing in the 
writer's time the name " Crux Finniani " or Finnian's Cross. Here, 

1 Prof. Zimmer retorts that the -agnos of these Ogam monuments is a 
learned restoration on the analogy of the Latin name Benignus (folk Latin 
Benegnas), which in Irish was Benen. The language of the Ogam monuments 
is inflected as highly as contemporary Latin and similarly also. 

296 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

then, we have Finnian as a pet form for both Finnbarr and Finn- 
luch ; and we may take it, as Prof. Zimmer says, that Finnian or 
a like diminutive (Finden, later Finnen, Gaelic Finnean ; or 
Findu, *Vindons) was pet form to all compounds beginning 
with Finn, now Fionn ; such as Findbarr, Findloch, Find- 
char, Findchath, &c, Fintan is also another form of the 
diminutive, later Fionndan. The hardened t or d before -an may 
be paralleled by the same phenomenal in Teutonic and Greek 
before like stems and in like contractions, as Teutonic Sicco for 
Sigbert or Sigerich, Greek Theokko for Theokles, Theokrates, <fcc. 
The shortening process resulted in a more pronounced strengthen- 
ing of the remuinLg consonant. So Ir. Tuatan is a curtailed and 
strengthened form for Tuathal, Tuathchar, arid Tuathghal : and 
Baitan for Baithloch or Baithgal, more modern Baothghal, 
Baothlach, Baothan. 

The important names Findbarr and Barrnnd must claim full 
treatment in all their forms. Professor Zimmer maintains, and he 
is no doubt right, that Findan is not the final step of the reduction 
or curtailment of Findbarr ; it is Find or Fionn itself. In this 
way he can explain all the names which are mere adjectives, 
especially those of colour : Find, " white ; " Dubh, " black ; " 
Ruadh, "red;'' Flann, "red;" Bonn, "brown;" Odhar, "dun" 
(whence M'Guire). These are so many reduced double-stems 
the last stam being in fact dropped. So Aed, fire, is reduced from 
Aedgal, Aedgen or Aedluch ; in O.Ir. it is declined as a -u stem, 
exactly the same as the word aed, fire. Returning to Findbarr 
and Barrfind, we find that the former shows the reduced forms 
Find, Findian, Finnia, Finnu (*Vindons), Fintan. The steps may 
be put tabularly thus, ending with the endearing mo forms : 


Vindons (Vindos) : Vindagna-s, &c. 
Findu ' : Findan, Fintan. 

Mo-Fhindu : Find. 

Munnu or Munna : Fionn 

And so we arrive at St Munn, whose other name, we are carefully 
told, was Fintan ! From Munn come the surnames Munn and 
M'Phun (M'Mhunna). In the case of Barrfind we shall arrive at 
the explanation of another saint's name no less puzzling : 


Barrio-s : 

Bairre : *Barr6c, 


Moroc (Maworrock). 

Personal Names. 297 

And hence St Moroc or Morack, whence the parish name of 
Xilmorack : the Scotch Moroc and Irish Barrfind are identical 
linguistically, and are so by their festal day, being both on the 8th 
November ; they are, in short, the same person. 

A selected list of the most important elements that go to form 
Old Gaelic compound names is given below. The list is in alpha- 
betic order ; the elements which are used for prefixes have a 
capital initial letter, and end with a hyphen if not used inde- 
pendently as a reduced form; those used for suffixes have a 
hyphen prefixed. Sometimes the same word can be used both 
initially and terminally ; in that case both forms are given 
initial capital and initial hyphen. Early Gaelic forms are in 
italics ; later forms are given in ordinary type ; in the former, 
intervocalic c, t, are g and d in modern times, while g, d, b, and m 
also remain unaspirated in Early Irish. 

Aed, Aodh, " fire." Diminutives : -an. -acdn (whence M'Egan), 
-6c, -nat (f.), -ech. Aed-gal, -gen (-gin), -lug (-luck). Final : 
Cin-aed, "Fire-kin, Fire-sprung" (whence Kenneth and 
M'Kenna, but not M'Kenzie, which is -from Coinneach, 
Adamnan's Cainnechus, " Fair one"), Lug-aed. 

-abair, -abra, " eye-brow." Find-alair, Flann-, Fiad-. 

-adach, a suffix apparently. Dun-adach, Fer-, Sluagh- (" Publi- 
cus"); but Muiredach, "lord," Muireadhach, whence 
M'Vurich and Currie. 

Ael- : Dim. Ael-eocdn. Ael-bran, -chu, -deith, -geanan, -gius, -gbal. 

Aen-, Aon-, " one, unique." Dim. -an, -agan. Aen-gus, " Unique- 
choice," modern Angus, M'Ennes, &c. 

Aer- : -cath, -laidh. 

Ail- : Dim. Ail-eacdn, -ene (Adamnan's Ailenus, now Allan ?). 
Ail-be, -erdn, -ghius, -gniad (*Ali-gnato-s). Ail-ill (Ail-illan) 
is from Alp-illos (Stokes) 1 Aili-thir= " Peregrin us." 

Ainm-, Anm-, " soul" : -cath, -che, -i-re (g. -reck), " Heart's king." 

Air-, Ir-, "on" : -bertach, -chinnech, "praepositus," -echtach, -ennan, 
-erdn, -mir, -galach. 

-aire, "-arius" : Con- (dog), Loeg- (calf). 

Aith-j "re" : -be, -che, -chen (-cen), -ghein, -nenn, -recht. Also Eth- 
chen, -ne (f.). 

Ard-, " high," -cu, -gal, -gar. 

Art, "bear." Dim. -an, -agan. Art-bran, -corb, -gal, -ri, -gus 

-ba. See -be. 

Bdeth, Baoth " simple, foolish." Dim. -an, -in, -ene (Adm. 
Baitanus, Baitheneus), -alach. Baeth-gus, -loch. 

298 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

-barr, " head." Finn-, Con-. 

-fo, -ba, *bio-&, "living," root bi, live : Ail-, Lug-. 

-bertach, 1 "powerful, rich" : Air-, Eo-, Flaith-. 

-bel, mouth : Cei-r-bel, " Wry-mouth," Cearbhall, Carroll, whence 

Be6- "living." Dim. Beo-an, Beo-tha. Beo-gain, -gna, -aed y . 

Bldth, "flower, Flora." Dim. Blaaif Blath-mac, Blaith-mec, 
" Florentinus." 

Bodb, Bodhbh, Badhbh, -bad, *Bodvo-, " war, slaughter, war 
goddess," Bodhbh-chadh, -ghal. Cf. Gaul. Bodvo-gnatus, 
0. W. Arth-bodu ; G. baobh. Final : Cath-bad. 

Bran, -bran, " raven." Dirn. -an, -agan. Bran-e/i?/, -dub. Art- 
bran, Art-brandn (Pict.). 

Bron, " sorrow." Dim. Bronach, -chain. 

Caemh-, "kind." Dim. -in, -an, -6c, -oran, -nech. Caem- comhrac, 
-gin (-yen, -gein), -lack. 

Can-, -can: "sing." Can-an. But -can in Find -chan, Bron-chain 
seems a derivative. 

Cath-, -cath (-cad}, "battle." Dim. -an, -asach (whence Casey), 
-arnach, -chan. Cath-bad ("""Catu-bodvos), -air ("^Catu-vir, 
Cathaoir), -laid, -mdl (*-maglo-), -mugh, -nia, -ub (" weapon"), 
-rae. Final in Donn-, Aer-, Flann-, Ini- (*ambi-, about). 

Caol, "thin" : -an, -6c. Gael- ba, -chu, -find, -tigern. 

Car-, -car, " love." Dim. Car- thach ( = Caratacus) ; Cairell (Gaul. 
Carillus). Cair-thenn. Final : Fer- (" Farquhar," super- 
dear), Find-, Tuath-. 

-certach, "director, ruler." Muir-certach (Ir. Moriarty, Sc. 
M'Murtrie, M'Kirdie, pronounced in G. M'Urardaigh) Norse 

Cell-, -cell, "warrior." Dim. Cell-ach ("warrior," Norse- 
borrowed Kjalakr, whence M'Killaig), whence O'Kelly, 
Kelly, M'Kelly ; Cell-oc, -an, -achdn. Final in Fin-cell, Sin-. 

Cenn-, -cenn, " head." Cenn-eitig, " ugly head" (whence Kennedy), 
-fada, -salach "dirty" (Ua Cennselaig, Kinchela), -gecan 
("goose"?), -findan (Gaul/ Penno-vindo-s, "white-head"). 
Final : Duib-cenn. 

Ciar-, " dusky." Dim. -an, -6c, -da. Ciar-caille, -mac, -odar. 

Cloth-, "famed," Gaul, cluto- : Der. -ach, "famous." Cloth-ma* 
" Famed-champion," -na, -cu, -rann (f.). 

Cob-, " victory" : Der. -thach (now Coffy), -fhlaith or -laith (f.). 

1 Stokes refers this to the same root as Teutonic lert, bright. 

Personal Names. 

-cobar, "help"; Con-chobar, "High-help" (whence Connor, 
O'Connor, and M'Connachers of Lorn still existent), 01-chobar, 

Com-, Comh-, " with" : Com-gan (St Comhghan, Cowan, M'Cowan), 
-gal (whence the district of Cowal) : -mem, -moc, -maig (f.), 
-nat (f.), -seek (f.), -sid. 

Con-, " high," Gaul, cuno-, Teutonic Hun-. Con-chobar, -aing, 
-all (Conall = Cuno-valo-s), -cand, -cath, -cenn, -craid, -cliath, 
-dal, and dalach, -gal (whence Connel) and -galach, -gus, -mael 
or mal (Cuno-maglos), -mac, -nihach, -odhar, -laedh, -ri (-rach) ; 
-ing en (f.). 

Conn, "sense," "citizen" (Jubahrville). Dim. -a (Condios), -egan 
(-ican), -alach (or -*val-aco-s ?), -la (Gaul. Condollius). Conri- 
achtach, -adh, -aith (-aed 1), -chadh, -mhach, -laedh. 

Cu, ctL "dog." Dim. Cudn. Cu-allaidh, Final: Milchu, 
" greyhound " (also pet nominative Miliuc), Fian-chu, Di-, 
Dobar- ("otter," pet form as common noun dobhrdn), Glas-, 
Lomm- (Lomman) : Bran-, Cloth-. Cf..Cua, Cuanan, Cuangus, 

-da, participial termination. 

-dal, -dalach, "assembly," "councillor." Con-dal, Con-dalach. 
Fear-. From Dalach, " councillor," comes O'Daly, Daly. 

Dearbh-, "true." Dearbh-ail, "true-wish" (f.), -fhorgail, "true- 
promise " (Dervorgilla). 

Deg-, " good," G. deagh : Deg-a (*Deg-ios), -itge, " prayer." 

Domn-, Domhn-, " world " : -all (*Dumno-valo-s, O.W. Dumngual, 
" world- wi elder," whence M 'Donald), -gen, -gart, "Head of 
the World " (0. Ir. gart, head, W. garth}. 

Donn, -donn, "brown, lord." Dim., -an, -agan, -abhan (Donovan). 
Donn-cath, or -cad (*Dunno-catu-s, " Warrior-lord or Brown- 
warrior"), -cuan, -gal (whence Donnelly), -gus, -lacha (f). 
Final : Each-donn = Eachunn, Englished " Hector" (" Horse- 

Dub, Dubh, "black." Dim. -an, -ogdn, -da, -neck, -thach (*Dubo- 
tdco-s, Duffy). Dub-aed, -gen, -cenn, -conatt, -cobhlaigh (f., see 
Cob-laith), -artach (-bheartach ?), -ghilla, -litir. Final = Bran- 

Dun-, " strong," a short form of dun, fort (or dun, mortal, root of 
duine, man?). Dim. -adach. Dun-chu, -cath or cad ("Strong- 
warrior = Duno-catus of the Ogams ?), -gal, -laing (g. linge), 
-sech (f.). 

Ech-, Each-, horse : -donn (Eachunn " Horse-lord : " hence 
M'Eachan), -marcach, -ri, -tigerna ("Horse-lord," whence 
M'Echern, M'Kechnie). Cf. Echen. 

300 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Ere, *Er<jo-, *Er< L i-, Pictish Erp, " brisk " (W. erf, brisk ?) : -lack, 
-I any, -nat. Stokes makes Der-erce mean " Daughter of the 

Eo-, "kind," *evo-, O.W. Eu-, Gaul, am- (?), Gothic awi-; cf. Ogam 
gen. Eva-cattos, which seems = Eochaid, g. *Eochada). Hence 
Eo-chaid (g. Ech-dach, which is a different name : *Eqo- 
dec-os); Eo-gan, Ewen (cf. Eu-gjjriius), -laing (Ogam Evo- 
lenggi, explained by Rhys as " long-lived,'*' but his evo- would 
not suit the phonetics of G. Eo-}. Eo-dhus for Eo-ghus 1 

Faet, wolf : Fael-dn, 'sael-cliath, -char, -gus ; also Faol-chii. 

Fer-, 1 " super, man." Der. Fer-adach, Fer-cair, Fear-char (" Dear- 
man," Farquhar, M'Erchar, Farquharson), -corb, -dalach, -gil 
(from gel ?), -gair, -gen, -gna, -gus ("Super-choice" or "Choice- 
man"). Genitive or late compounds: Fer-domnach ("Church- 
man "), -fesa ("man of knowledge "), -graidh ("love"). 

Fcth-, "breeze" (?), -dn, -aid, -ain; -chu, -gna, -mech. 

Fiach, Feck-, raven. Dim. Fiacc, Fiach-a, -ach, Fechin. Fiach-na, 
-ra (Adm. gen. Fechreg, " Raven-prince"). 

Fian-, " heroic, Fenian," Fian-amail, " Hero-like," -cil, -qalach, -gus. 

Fid-, Fidh-, "wood," "wit" (?). Fid-an, Fidh-airle, "wood-council" 
(from lots, &c.?), -abhra, -bhadhach (^bodvacos), -cellach 
(-gellach), -gaile, -gus, -muine. 

Fin-, " shining." Fin-dn, -be, -chell, -shnechta (Stokes). 

Find. Fionn, " white." Dim. Finn-i, -io, -idn (G. Finnean, whence 
M'Lennan = M'Gille-fhinnein), -en, -tan, -toe (G. M'lll-fhionn- 
daig, M'Lintock, Dean of Lismore's M'Gillindak),-agan, -chan. 
find-beo, -abair, -cath, and -caddn, -cu, -cua, -gen or guine 
(*Vindo-gonio-s, " Fair-born," whence M'Kinnon = M'Fhionn- 
ghuin) -lug or -Inch (g. Loga or lochd), -mac, -shneachta, -che (f.), 
-*edt (f.). The Scotch name Finlay, in 1020 Findlaech (father 
of Macbeth), means Fair-hero; the -laech is now laoch, a 
borrowed Latin word. It seems to be a popular rendering of 
Find-lug. The Norse also etymologised it in rendering it as 
Finn-leikr "Finn's diversion," a termination common in 
names. Hence M'Kinlay, Finlayson. 

Flaitk-, -flaith, "dominion." Flaith-bheartach "Dominion-bearing" 
(Flaherty, M'Larty), -chua, -gheal, -amail, -chins ( = gus), 
-nia or niadh, -lemh, -ri. Final (in female names) : Cob- 
fhlaith, Dun-, Gorm- (G. Gormla), Tuath-. 

1 Dr Stokes makes Per- always = Fer, super, but it is clearly " man" in 
many canes. In Gaelic fcr = ver ought to preserve the following consonants, 
as for does. 

Personal Names. 301 

Flann, "red." Dim. Flann-an, -agan (Flannagan). 
-cath (M'Fhlanncadha = Clancy), -gus, -gal. 

-gal, " valour." Aed-, Ad-, Ard-, Art-, Baeth-, Comh-, Con-, Doiin-, 
Dun-, Fer-, Flann-, Gorm-, Lear-, Muir-, Reacht-, Saer-, 
Tuath-, Uar-, Uath-. Also -galach in several cases = " valorous," 
Dun-gha.lach, Con-galach, Ir-galach, &c. 

-gel, -geal, " white." Flaith-gheal, Muir-gel (f., Scotch Muriel, 
'' "Sea-white"). 

-gan, -gen, -gon, -guine, *geno-s, *gono-s, *gonio-s, "kin of," Gr. 
-yev-rys. Aed-gin or -gen, Caemh-, Comh-, Dub-,' Fer-, Find- or 
Fionn and Fin- (cf. G. Ceara-ionn, " White-head" for single n, 
and Brenann for Brendan). 

Gorm-, "blue:" -an, -fhlaith (f.), -gal, -gilla, -gialla, -leaghaidh. 

-gus, "choice," Lat. gustus, Eng. choice. Aengus (G. Aonghus, 
" Angus" = " Unique choice"), Con-, Donn-, Fael-, Fer- 
(' Super-choice" or " Choice-man," now in M'Fhearghuip or 
M'Fhear'uis, " Fergusson ;" Pictish Forcus is the same, from 
for, " super"). Also later -gheas, -cius, -ghius. 

lar-, "after, post." lar-laithe, -lugh. 

Laid- ( = Laith), Laidh-, -laid, " warrior," E.Ir. laith, Gaul -latis (?) 
Laid-cenn or Laidhgeann, -gnen, -beartach. Aer-laidh, lar-. 

Ler, Lear, " sea." Lear-banbhan (" sea-pig"), -gal, -gus, -than (f). 

Lass-, Lassair, "flame." Dim. Lasse, Mo-Laisse (G. St Molais, 
whence the place name Lamlash), Lassre (f.), Lassar (f.), 
Lassren. Lassar-fhina, "Wine-flame" (f.) 

Leth-, "half :" -aithech, -lobhair ("Half-leper," now Lawlor). 

Lug-, Lugh-, -Inch (-loch, -lach), g. -loga, " winning, the god Lug" 
the art and culture deity of the Gael. Norse Loki. Dim. 
Lug-dn, -e, Mo-lua, 1 Mo-luoc (Scotch Moluai?), -aid (Lugudius 
of Adamnan). Lug-aed, -be or -ba, -cell, -crith (Lucrid, *Lugu- 
qritis), -na, -roth, -tigern (Luch-thigern), -sech (f.). Caemh- 
lach, Boeth-, Find-lug (Finn-lack, &c.), Ness- ("weazel"), 
Noem- (" holy). An old gloss gives lug the meaning of 
"laoch," hero. It also means "little," a modern lugh, G. 
lugha, less ; with an Irish form lu also. Stokes derives the 
king's name Lulach (Book of Deer gen. Luldig) from lu, 
little, suggesting "little calf" as the force. It is possibly 
Lug-laech, "little hero" or "Lug's hero." Hence M'Lulaich, 
Englished as M'Lullich, and at times M'Culloch, a different 
name really. 

Mac-, -mac, " son" : Mac as a prefix means " young," and goes 
adjectivally before many nouns : Macnia, "young champion ;" 

1 Stokes interprets this name as " My kick." 

302 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mac-clerech, "young cleric," &c. Cor- (for Corb-) mac, 
Cormac, "Chariot-son," "Charioteer," whence M'C.orinick; 
Blath-raac, Find-, Ciar-. 

Mdl-, " prince" (*Maglo-s), confused with Mael-, " shaveling," 
-mdl, niael, Mael-mordha, " Great prince" (Englished in 
Middle Ages as Myles = to Maol-moire, " Mary's slave"), -dub, 
-odar, which both may be " shaifeling." Cat/i- mdl, -mad 
(whence M'Cavell, M'Cambil, Con- (*Cuno-maglo-s, "High- 
chief"). Mdel-diiin, " Lord (Slave ?) of the Fort," belongs to 
the mad and cu system of name-giving ; hence Irish Muldoon. 

Mid,- mith, " mead" (?). Mid-a, -u, -nat (f.) : -abair, -aighre, 
-ighen, -gus, -ran. The famous name Meave or Mab comes 
from *Medva, root medu- mead : " Mead-goddess," Gaul. 
Meduna. Final : Fedd-mid, Phelim. 

Mog-, Mug-, -mugh, -niach, "servant," 0. Ir. mug, slave, g. moga. 
Mog-aid, -ain (f.). Cath-mugh, Conn-mhach. Mugh-ron 
rather belongs to the cu names; it means "Seal's slave;" 
from it comes M'Morran of Argyle and Southern Scotland. 

Muir-, " sea." Dim. and der. : Muir-ecan or -igen. Muir-chath 
(*Mori-catu-s, " Sea- warrior," G. Murchadh, whence the sur- 
names Murchie, M'Murchie, Murchieson), -ceartach (" Sea- 
director" ; see under ceartacJi), -geal (Scotch Muriel), -gus 
(-gius, -chius, -gheas, whence Irish Morissy), -gal, -chii. 

-no, for *-gnio-s, " descended from," " belonging to." It is practi- 
cally a diminutive. Cloth-na, Fiach-, Lug-. The -gna in 
Fergna (Adm. Virgnous) is for gndvos, "known." 

-nia, -niad, " champion." Cath-nia, Cloth-, Mac-, Reacht-. Niall 
is a diminutive ; see next word. 

Niall, " champion." Niall-an, -bran, -gus. From Niallghus comes 
the name M'Neilage (for the ge terminal compare M'Ambrois, 
giving M'Cambridge and M'Phetruis Petrus giving 
M'Fetridge ; and vulgar Scotch rubbage for " rubbish" and 
Irish carcidge for " carcase"). 

-ra, g. -rack. See -ri. Fiach-ra. Also -rae. 

Reacht-, " right," -an, -abra, -gal, -nia. 

-ri, g. -reck, " king." Art-ri, Each-, Flaith-, Ruad-, Cath-rae 
(Gaul. Catu-rix). Flaith-ri is also Flath-roi and Flath-rae. 
Ainmire is " Soul-prince," g. Ainmirech. 

Ruad, " red, strong." Ruad-dn, -acdn, -ri (whence G. Ruadhraigh, 

Ro-, " very." Ro-bartach (see bertach), -dub, -techtach. Roi-bne, 

Saer-, "free," -bhearg ("soldier, marauder"), -brethach ("judging"), 
-gal, -gus, -mugh. 

Personal Names. 303 

Sin-, -an, -6c, -u, -che (f.), -ech, -ell, -chell. 

Seek-, "secus, past," -nail or -lainn ( = Lat. Secundinus, which 
translates it), -nasach (whence Shaughnessy), -tan. 

Sen-, " senior," -an, -ach, -6c, -chan ; Sen-berech, -cad. 

Sued-, "nit," -airle, -bran, -cest, -gus, -riaghail. 

o-, Su-, "good," -adbar ("reason"), -barthain, -dalach, -delb (f., 
" Fair-form "), -chla (clti, " fame " = " famous "), -i-chell, -bhen 
(f.), -bhartan. Su- arlech, "Good-councillor," -bach, "joyous," 
-bhtan, -ibsech (f., *su-bio-s-, " glad-one "), Suibne, "Sweeney" 
(Adm. Suibneus, from So-ben-io-s, root ben as in foirfe, perfect ; 
it means "Good-going, Good-one"), whence M'Queen. 
The opposite of Suibhne is Duibhne, whence O'Duinn. 

-thach, a termination = -tdcos : Cob-, Dub-, Car-. 

Tigern-, -tigern, " lord." Tigern-dn, -ach. Ech-tigern, Foir-tchern, 

Tuath-, "people," -an (" Publicus "), -al (*Tonto-valo-s, O.W. 
Tutgual, Ir. O'Toole, ToOle), -car, -gal, -laith (^fhlaith, f.). 

Possibly the excessive use of animal names may be taken as a 
departure from the purity of Aryan nomenclature. We saw that 
Professor Zimmer regarded the simple name Lukos, " Wolf," as a 
reduced name, from some double-stemmed form. Even then the 
early Gaels show an extra fondness for such names, more so than 
the Teutons. The favourite animal is the dog, or, rather, the 
hound ; its importance for the chase and, therefore, as a food 
provider may account for this. Somebody has suggested con- 
nection between this extraordinary dog cult and the Iberic people 
called by Herodotus and the other early historians the Kunetes 
(" Dog-people " or " Highlanders " ?), a people in Western Spain, 
which Irish legend always claims as the source of the race. 
Unfortunately, the root cun not only means "dog" but also 
" high," and it is impossible to differentiate which it is in the 
resultant names. Thus in the British name Conglas or Cynlas, 
the Cuno-glasus of Gildas, the usual explanation is that it is from 
cuno-, high, and that it thus means " Highly-grey ;" but Gildas 
himself tells us the true and sensible meaning of the combination, 
for he translates it as " lanio fulve " or " tawny butcher," where 
the lanio refers to the " hound " root cun. Similarly, Gaelic Conan 
is to be explained as " little hound," not as " little high one." 
The name appears on Ogam inscriptions as Ounigni, Cunegni, 
whence the latter names in early Ir. Coinfn, W. Cynin, while Ir. 
Conan comes from Cunagnas, to which W. Cynan, Cinan may be 

304 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The dog names themselves are numerous. Besides cu, which 
is rarely used alone, there are its diminutives Corian, Coinin. 
" Whelp " appears in Cuilean, E. Irish Culen, a favourite Scottish 
King's name, translated Catulus and Caniculus. The best Irish 
form is Coilean, and we may suspect that the Gaelic Christian 
name Cailean, M. G. Cailin, Englished as Colin, is from some 
dialect form of this word prevalent in Menteith and Perthshire in 
the thirteenth century. It is hence the Campbells brought it, 
and that date is rather early to think of the Eng. Colin as being 
introduced and borrowed. Compounds with cu are Branchu, 
" Raven-dog," Faol-chii, " Wolf-dog," Mil-chii, " Grey-hound " 
(literally, "Beast-dog"), Fian-chii, "Fenian-dog" or "Hunting- 
dog," Di-chu, Glas-chu and Onchii, "leopard." The Dobarchu, 
Mac Dobarcon in the Book of Deer, literally means " Water-dog," 
and is applied to the otter ; its modern Gaelic form is dobhran, a 
"pet" reduction of the longer name, as Professor Zimmer well 
points out. Another dog name, also a favourite in the early 
Highlands, was madadh, the older matad or maddad. This was 
the name of the Earl of Athole in the early twelfth century, who 
was father of Earl Harald of Orkney, called by the Norse Harald 
Madda#ar-son. The diminutive Matudan is also common (whence 
the Irish surname Madden); it appears in the Book of Deer as 
Matadin, and it is no doubt the same name we have in the 
Norse Moddan, sister's son to the enigmatical King Karl Hundason 
(King Duncan 1) of the Sagas. 1 

Besides the dog, there are of other domestic animals the horse 
or goat as Gabhran, famed in Scotch history as the father of 
Aedan, Columba's friend. The ox gives the diminutive Daimen, 
Adamnan's Daimenus ; Daimhin was son of Cairbre Damh-airgiod 
in 560, and this last name and epithet are in the Macdonald 
genealogy. 0' Gamhna, " 0' Stirk," is in the Book of Kells, and 
L6eg (" calf," now laogh\ was Cuchulainn's charioteer, while 
Loegaire (" calf-tender") is not merely a heroic but a kingly name ; 
it was in Loegaire or Leary's time that Patrick came to Ireland. 
Serrach or " Colt" is a common and early name, whence the Irish 
clan names O'Sherry and M'Sherry. Orcan, Muccin, and Banbau 
prove the popularity of the pig among the Irish in the days of the 
saints. 2 

1 No doubt this is King Duncan, and possibly Karl is a translation of the 
first part of the name, dun- being regarded as " man." 

The Galwegian surname M'Culloch, which appears in the 13th century 
as Maculagh, must be from cuttach, boar, as their own traditions assert, a 
Crusader ancestor having the boar as an effigy on his shield. 

Personal Names. 305 

Outside the range of domestic animals, we have the bear and 
the wolf well to the front, as among the neighbouiing Teutons. 
The bear is mathghamhuinn, the math stirk, whatever math 
ultimately is. Hence the name Mahon, M'Mahon, early and late ; 
our northern Mathesons are M'Mhathain or Mathanaich in Gaelic. 
The wolf isfael or/ao/; it is the diminutive faeldn that gives the 
personal name, whence our M'GuT Fhaolain or M'Lellan and Gil- 
fillan. A man of wonderful ancestry was slain in Ireland in 1051. 
He was Faelan, son of Bradan, son of Breac " Wolfie, son of 
Salmon, son of Trout (or Grey)." Another name for the wolf was, 
if we trust the glosser, sigheck, or, to spell it properly, sithech. 
The namo is in the Book of Deer as (Mac) Sithich, and the female 
name Sitheag, was well known in the late middle ages and during 
the witch prosecutions. Hence we have M'Shithich or M 'Keith 
and Keith, and, no doubt, M'Kichan. Hence, too, the Irish 
Sheehy. The cat, or wild cat rather, for there was no domestic 
cat at that time, appears in the names of priests ordained by 
Patrick : Cat and Catan (Catus, Catanus in the Book of Armagh) ; 
and there were two saints Cattan. The Clan Chattan derive their 
name from an early ancestor styled Gille-chatain or " St Cattan's 
gillie." The cat people lived in Sutherland and Caithness, and 
have left their name there : G. Cataobh, " Sutherland," and Caith- 
ness, the Norse Katanes or Ness of the Cats. The fox gave three 
names : Loarn or Lorn, the Gaulish Luernios, the Lovernios and 
Lovernacos of two Welsh inscriptions, discussed above ; Crim- 
thann, a favourite old king's name ; and Sionnach. " The Fox " 
was the official name of the O'Caharny, chief or king of Teffia, in 
Westmeath and Kilkenny, even as late as 1526, when M'Eochagan 
and " the Fox " made a famous covenant in Gaelic, still preserved. 
The badger gave name to several saints under the diminutive form 
of Broccan. The weasel, even, was utilised : we have Ness, 
Nessan, and Ness-lug. There seems to have been a river goddess 
Ness (root, ntd, wet, Ger. netzcn), mother of Conchobar, called 
hence Conchobar Mac Nessa, who ruled Ulster in the heroic days, 
about the year one of our era. The river Ness derives its name 
also hence. Whether the weazel or the river goddess is 
responsible for the personal names is doubtful ; likely the weazel. 
Beasts of the chase are represented by the famous name of Oisin, 
our Ossian, which denotes a " little deer " or os ( = Eng. ox). 
Older forms are Oissene (Adm. Oisseneus), Ossan, with a female 
form Ossnat. The name Segein or Segene is, no doubt, from s^r, 
a deer, or seig, a vulture (*segi-) ; the name Sege"ne, with seg, 


306 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

short, is from seg, strength (Teutonic sig, victory, Greek Hector), 
whence* Gaul Sego-maros, Gaelic seagh-mhor. 

Of bird names we have first Cailech, cock, which is on the 
Ogmic monuments as Caliaci ; it is now coileach in G. Enan 
(tndn) is from en, bird; likely also Enda (enda), "bird-like." 
Faeland, " gull," is a female saint's name. The names Bran and 
Branan, and the various compounds of jfach, raven (Fiacc, Fiachra, 
<fec.), have already been discussed. The saint's name Columba, 
meaning " dove," appears to have been originally borrowed from 
Latin ; it is now in its diminutive form of caluman or caiman the 
only Gaelic word for dove. Hence the G. personal name Calum, 
the surname M'Caluim, Eng. M'Callum. Names of sea and water 
animals are not numerous in name-giving. Bradan, the son of 
Breac, has already been mentioned ; and M'Bradain is the modern 
Gaelic of the name Salmond. There were several saints of the 
marne of R6nan or "little seal" in the 6th to 8th centuries. 
Adamnan mentions " Ronanus films Aido," a tigerna of 
Oriel, and his own mother was Ronnat ( = R6n-nai). The pet 
form Mo-Ronoc gives us the parish name of Kilinaronock. Dorb- 
ene, or the "Tadpole," was the scribe of the oldest MS. of 
Adamnan's "Columba;" he died in 713. He spells his name as 
Dorbbeneus. Even insects have been utilised : the daol or beetle 
was seemingly a favourite : Daol Ulad, " Beetle of Ulster :" Daol- 
ghus, " Choice-beetle ;" with this compare Sned-gus and the other 
compounds from sncd. 

Hitherto we have dealt with names that show Aryan descent 
and have Aryan exemplars elsewhere in Europe as in India. 
Names such as Cu-chulainn, Mog-Nuadat, and Nat-Fraich, which 
mean respectively " Hound of Culaun, Slave of (the god) Nuada, 
Champion of (the demigod) Fraoch," belong to a different name- 
system from that which we have discussed. Naturally Biblical 
parallels occur to us : Obed-edom, " Servant of the god Edom," 
Ebed-melech, " Servant of Moloch," Ben-hadad, " Son (worshipper) 
of Hadad," Ariel, "Lion of El (God)," Gabriel, "Hero of El." 
The Hebrew use of words denoting kindred (son, father, brother, 
uncle), with either proper, common, or abstract nouns is on all 
fours with the use of mac in Old Irish, and also the colour names 
dubh and donn. The name Absalom, " Father of Peace," is parallel 
to Dub-sithe, "Black of Peace" (whence M'Phee) ; Barsabas, "Son 
of the Sabbath (born on the Sabbath)" may be equated with 
Mac-na-h-oidhche, " Son of the Night." The Irish names are not 
modelled on the Semitic names, for the best specimens of these 
names are earlier than Christianity. Some of these genitive com- 

Personal Names. 307 

pounds contain undoubted god names. Mog-Nuadat, " Slave of 
Nuada," shows the od name Nuada, a deity common to Ireland 
and Wales ; Mog-Neit meant the " Slave of the war goddess Neit," 
for such we know her to have been. Nia-Segamon means 
" Champion of Segam," and this was the name of the Gaulish 
Mars, the dative of which in Gaulish is Segomoni. The Druid 
Mog-Ruith (3rd century) had his name from some " wheel of light 
or fortune," for it means " Slave of the Wheel." Mog appears 
with such other names as Art, Corb, Dorn, and Lama. The last 
two no doubt mean " Slave of the Fists and Slave of the Hand," 
and the latter reminds us of the Scottish Dewar of the Hand of 
St Fillan, one of that Saints' four relics guarded by the mediaeval 
Dewars. A lap-dog of the second century had the name of Mug- 
eime, " Slave of the Haft," because it had gnawed the haft of a 
valuable knife. Corb appears as a man's name once or twice in 
more or less genuine historic literature, though one is apt to 
regard it in its literal sense of "Chariot." Adamnan has Neth- 
corb, " Champion of Corb ;" there are besides Art Corb and Mes or 
Messin Corb (" Bear and Lap-dog of Corb") as well as Fer-Corb 
(Corb's Man), lo these add Nat-Fraich, Nia Febis, "Champion 
of the heroine Febis," Fer Tlachtga and Fer Ceirtne (so Prof. 
Rhys). The reason of the above-noticed departure from the 
Aryan name system must lie in the fact that a non-Celtic and non- 
Aryan people formed part of the population. In fact, these names 
belong to the name system of the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Ireland. 
With the introduction of Christianity a new expression of 
service was coined from the tonsure practised by the priests. The 
adjective mael or maol, bald, was used as a noun to denote " bald 
one, slave," the Latin of which was calvus. So Mael-Patraic is in 
Lat. Calvus Patricii. A change also took place in the personages 
to whom dedication or service was made ; the saints of the 
Christian Church took the place of the old pagan deities, demigods 
and genii. There is only one mael name in Adamnan ; that is, 
Mailodranus. This shows that in the sixth century the saints had 
not been long enough dead to be thoroughly canonical. Mailodran, 
Slave of Odran, Coluniba's friend, was a contemporary of St 
Adamnan's, though of an earlier generation. The number of 
names made by mael with a saint's name in the genitive thereafter 
was nearly as numerous as the saints themselves ; the number 
recorded is large. As in Scotland mael gave way within the last 
five hundred years to gille, only one or two cases of its use remain. 
First is Malcolm, the Eng. form of Mael-cholaim, " St Columba's 
slave ;" its place even was usurped largely by Gille-colaim, and 

308 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

now the Gaelic of the name is Calum. Maol-isa, " Slave of Jesus," 
gave the Eng. Malise (whence Mellis as a surname), and it has 
practically lasted till the present time ; so, too, with Maol-moire, 
" Mary's Slave," which is Englished as Myles. The likeness of 
the aspirated form of mad and gille, that is, vaol and yille, or, in 
genitive, with the initials off, aoil and ille, make it difficult to say 
which has given a certain Mac surname. Thus the Black Book 
of Taymouth, for the 16th century, writes generally M'Olchallum, 
M'Oldonuich, and M'Oulroy, forms which in the case of M'Oldon- 
uich stand for M'Mhaoil-domhnaich, from Maol-domhnach, " Slave 
of the Lord or Church" = Calvus Dominicus, and in the other 
two cases may be for M'Mhaoil-cholaim and McMhaoil-ruaidh. 

As has been said, gille in Scotland usurped the place of maol 
in the last few centuries. Gille is not so early in use as maol 
among the Irish. Its floruit begins in the 10th century, and it 
has firm hold in the llth century and thereafter. Prof. Zimmer 
maintains that it is a Norse word, and that originally it was used 
by or for the Norsemen instead of maol. There is, however, no 
such Norse word as gillr or gildr denoting "servant;" the word 
gildr denotes "stout, brawny," Eng. guild, Aug. Sax. gilda, fellow, 
the latter coming near the meaning. It is useless to argue as 
Prof. Zimrner does, when the Norse does not show the word 
actually and actively in use and of like meaning. 

Besides maol and gille, there are further used as prefixes fer 
and mac (der, daughter), and possibly older than any of these is 
cu, hound. The peculiarity of prefixed cu, maol, and mac is their 
use with abstract and material nouns. In Gaelic, mac often 
renders an abstract noun into a material one : Mac-mollachd, 
"son of curse "=" cursed-one," Mac-leisg, "son of laziness," Mac- 
talla, "son of the Rock " = " echo " = Ir. mac-alla, Mac-na-bracha, 
"son of the Malt " = "Whisky" = Ir. Mac-e6rna, "son of Barley," 
Mac-na-croiche, "son of the gallows," Mac-na-h-eild', "son of the 
hind " = the stag ; with Mac-samlaidh or Mac-sainhuil, "likeness, 
examplar," may be placed the Irish Mac-leabhair, "copy of a book." 
Mac-na-maoile, "son of the baldness," has done duty for M'Millan; 
in fact it is the only name given the clan in the M'Lagan MSS. 
Mac-na-cearda, "son of the craft" ( = craftsman = tinker !), may 
be compared to the epithet given to Cu-chulainn, viz., Cii-na- 
cerda, beside Cii-nan-cless, " Kound of the feats." But Mac-na- 
cearda, with its meaning of "tinker," Scotch "tinkler," has 
landed in the English form of Sinclair in Argyle by a well-known 
law of Gaelic eclipsis. On the extremely physical and earth-born 
character of these early names Dr Whitley Stokes says in his 

Personal Names. 309 

" Martyrology of Gorman" : "[There is the] occurrence of names 
such as Ler erce, 'daughter of the sun,' Macliacc, 'son of a stone,' 
Mac caerthainn, 'son of a mountain ash,' which seem to have been 
handed down from primeval savagery. So Circe was daughter of 
Helios [the sun], the Oneidas and Dacotos claim descent from 
stones, and the Dryopes were a race of men born of ash-trees." 
To names of the above kind add Mac-cuilinn, "son of holly," Mael- 
craeibhe, "slave of a tree," Der-caerthainn, "daughter of rowan," 
Fraech, "heath," Leccan, "little flagstone," not to mention 
Lassar, " flame," or even Aed, " fire." The name M'Tyre, of Paul 
M'Tyre, a Ross- shire worthy of the 14th century, is easily 
explained when we know that mac tire in Irish means " wolf," son 
of the soil ! Finally the two great names of Mac-beth and 
Mac-rae get their natural and historical explanation from these 
ideas : they are both personal or Christian names, not surnames. 
Mac-raith, " son of grace or prosperity," that is, " Favoured one," 
appears first in 448, and there are several persons of that name 
mentioned in the annals in the 9th to llth centuries. The 
Scottish genealogies of MS., 1467, &c., show the name used as 
in Irish (Mac Mec-raith, for instance) as a Christian name, and it 
is found as such in the Paisley Charters and in Carrick in the 
llth and 12th centuries. As a clan name its earliest appearance 
is in Ayrshire and southern Scotland (M'Craith). The northern 
M'Raes belong to the M'Kenzie clan group. Macbeth appears 
often in Ireland and Scotla-nd in the 1 1th and 12th centuries ; it 
means " Son of life " ( = Lively one), and has practically the same 
force as its contemporary names of Beathan (Bethdn, *Bitatagna-s, 
from the root of bcatha, life ; compare for meaning Ang. Saxon 
Lifing and Living, whence the Scotch place name and surname 
Livingston), and Beathag (Beth6c). From these come the clan 
names M'Bean and M'Beth, which last is in Gaelic M'Bheathaig as 
applied to the Applecross and Caithness M'Beths, practically the 
only members of the clan existent. fn Perthshire the name 
M'Beth was rendered into M'Beathaiu, where there has always 
been a considerable sept of M'Beans or M'Veans. 1 

Mad with abstract and material nouns is also common. Mael- 
umha, " Slave of Bronze" (d. 606), Mael-bracha and Mael-medha, 

1 The name Lachlan may have originated in a similar way. The word in 
its earliest form is Lochlann and Mac Lochlainn ; this is the name for 
Scandinavia, and possibly one of the northern O'Neills was baptised M'Loch- 
lainn or " Scandinavian," and latterly the personal name Lochlann was hence 
deduced. Dugall means " Bfeck gall" or foreigner = Dane (whence M'Dougall 
and M'Dowal). Fingall, " Norse-man," that is, " Fair gall" was the name of a 
King of Man about 1070. Compare Norman (= North-man) for G. Tormoid-. 

310 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Slave of Malt, of Mead," Mael-fiona (" of wine"), Mael-tuile (" of 
flood"), Mael-cluiche (" of play"), Mael-corghas ("of Lent," that is r 
one boni in Lent), Mael-mocheirighe ("of early rising" = Lat. 
Manilla), Mael-snechta ("snow"), Mael-choisni ("winning"), &c. 
With adjectixes there are Mael-dubh, Mael-odhar, Mael-caich 
("blind"), Mael-deid ("holy," but -d6id seems to mean "hand" 1 ?) 
The name Mael-anfaid, " Slave of storm," appears in the seventh 
century and afterwards; it is also found in the 1467 MS., in the 
Genealogy of the Camerons, as an alternate name for Donald Du's 
father, and also as that of his ancestor six generations further 
back. In fact. Mailanfaid was the son of Gillroid Camshroin, " G. 
the wry-nosed," whence the race have their name. Later, with the 
usual displacement of mae.l by gille, Mael-anfhaidh appeared as 
Gill'-onfhaidh, whence M'Lon'aidh, or Englished as M'Lonvie and 
M'Gillony, a sept of the Camerons. 

The word cu does not go along with saints', or indeed personal, 
names, but its range otherwise is wide. It is used with abstract 
and material nouns and with local and tribal names. Possibly god 
names may have been its objects in early times : Cu-chulainn, 
" Culann's Hound," for instance, and the enigmatical corb in 
Cii-corb. With tribe and place names we have Cu Cuailgne, Cu 
Ulad (Ulster), -connacht, -midhe (Meath), whence M'Namee, 
-Breatan ("of the Britons"). With general nouns of place there 
are Cu-mara, whence M'Con-mara (M'Namara), -snamha (swim- 
ming, M'Kinnawe), -sl&bhe (" hill"), -glinne (glen), -locha " lake," 
-letrach (hillside), -lena (mead), -coigriche (of the' province, 
foreign, translated by Peregrinus) -criche (bounds), -cathrach 
(town), &c. With adjectives Cu-allaidh, -dubh, -diiiligh (hopeful), 
-caech, to which add Cu-cen-mathair, " Mother-less Hound" (date 
664) ! With abstract nouns Cu-gaela (kin), -cuimne (memory 
= Cu-cuinnech, "mindful hound"), -catha (battle), -sithe (peace), 
which last two along with Cuduiligh are in the M'Lean genealogy 
given by the Irish MSS. 

Compounds with/cr, man, and der, daughter, are fewer Fer- 
da-chrich, " Man of two bounds," Fer-fugill, " Man of judgment," 
Fer-fesa, " Man of knowledge ;" Fer-domnach and Fer-corb are 
already discussed. Der appears in Der-lugdach, "Lugaid's der," 
Dar-belein, Dar-bile (" of a tree"), while Der-caerthainn and Der- 
cuilain are already explained. 

The most extraordinary development of this late Gadelic name- 
system falls now to be noticed. Either on the analogy of maol, 
bald, or from some secondary force attached to colour adjectives, 
as when we are told that donn means " lord" and ruadh means 

Personal Names. 311 

" strong, lord" ( = the strong colour ? cf. Lat. robur, strength), two 
or three of the colour adjectives are ued as nouns much in the 
same way as maol and mac. In Gaelic legendary lore the witch 
Dubh-ghiuthais, " Black-one of the Pines," who destroyed the 
Caledonian fir forests by raining fire on them, is a well-known 
figure, and so is Liath-ghiuthais (from Hath, grey). Similarly in 
the period from 600-1000 in Ireland names with dubh and donn 
followed by a genitive abound. First, we have dubh with names 
of places, general or proper : Dubh-dothra, " Black of Dodder" (a 
river), date 738 ; Dubh-tuinne (wave), -droma (ridge), -duin (fort), 
-sleibhe (hill), -innsi (island) ; especially with da or " two" Dubh- 
da-bhoireann (2 rocks), -da-enrich (2 bounds), -da-bharc (2 barks), 
-da-dos (2 tufts), da-inbher (2 confluences), -da-ingean (2 daughters), 
-da-lethe (2 sides), -da-locha (2 lochs), -da-thuile (2 floods). With 
more or less abstract and material nouns there are Dubh-slaine, 
" Black of surety," Dubh-cuilinn (holly), and Dubh-sithe, " Black 
of peace," whence the Scotch Dnbh-shith or Dn'-sith. both as a 
name, and as a patronymic in M'Dhubhshith or M'Phee (M'DufFy, 
M'Haffie). Dubside was rector of lona in 1164. It is similar with 
donn, brown (or "lord"); we have Donn-boo, "Brown (lord) of 
Cows," Donn-cuan (harbours or dogs?), Donn-sleibhe, "Brown of the 
Hill." This last is an old and popular name both in Ireland and 
the Highlands ; in Ireland it latterly appears as Donleavy 
(Dunlop), and in the Highlands its use as a Christian name died 
out in the sixteenth century (Downsleif Makcure of Ulva, 1517), 
but as a surname it continues in vigorous use in the form of 
M'Leay (G. M l -An-lJi'), sometimes Englished as Livingston. 
There is, of course, no etymological connection between Livingston 
and M'Leay ; it is the slight resemblance of the initial part of the 
names, together with the fact of the Livingstons having land on 
the Highland frontier, that caused the equation of the one name 
with the other. 

Epithets have forme-i a most important element both in the 
formation of Christian r.ames and surnames. The Aryan double- 
stem names are mostly epithetic in origin. Later epithets became 
names also, and ni( st persons of any consequence had in olden 
times an epithet, which epithet was not always complimentary. 
A striking example of how an epithet developed into a personal 
name is given in the history of the name Cearbhall, the modern 
Carrol (M'Carole, 16th century, now M'Garrol). The name first 
appears as the epithet of Fergus, son of Conall, a warrior of St 
Patrick's time, called Fergus Cerrbel or "Fergus Wry-mouth." 
His son Diarmat became monarch of all Ireland (539-558), and 

312 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

was known to Adamnan and the historians as Diarmat son of 
Cerrbel (Adm.'s genitive is Cerbulis). The name was a favourite 
in the 9th and 10th centuries, spelt Cearbhall in the Middle 
Irish records and written Kjarvalr in the Norse sagas. May we 
not point to two similar names in Scotland which became sur- 
names ? Campbell, the 13th century Cambell, 1540 MS. Cam- 
bel, is clearly a Scotch equivalent of Cerrbel ; it stands for Cam- 
bel. The idea that the name Campbell comes from Campo-bello 
is founded on a historical fallacy ; the ^>rder of these words was 
Bello-canipo, producing the later Beauchamp or Beecham. Again, 
the name Cameron in the Highlands was originally an epithet 
denoting " Wry-nose ;" it is so stated by the 1467 Gaelic MS., and 
the writer lived within two or three generations of the Wry -nosed 
one that must have given his nickname to a clan w r ho had nothing ' 
awry with their courage, if their noses were not always straight. 
The Camerons? of the Lowlands are so named fiom place names 
called Cameron, of which there are or were three near Edin- 
burgh, in Fife, and in Lem.ox. 

Another epithet that developed into a surname was Cenn- 
salach, "dirty head !" Another contemporary of St Patrick's was 
Endae Cendsalach (later Cendselach and Cennsealach). The name 
gave the tribal one of Ui Cinnselaigh, in Wexford, whence the 
surname Kinsela ! l Another personal name in ceann that must at 
first have been an epithet is Kennedy ; its earliest appearance is 
in the ninth century, and it is common thereafter. It is spelt 
then Cend-eitig, showing the long e of e'itig, and thus proving it to 
be a late combination in short, an epithet. Like cend-salach, it 
has no complimentary force ;' it means simply "Ugly-head!" 
Kennedy was father of the famous King Brian Boru, who fell at 
Clontarf in 1014. The name appears in Ayr and Galloway early ; 
Gillecrist, son of Kencdi, in 1222, and John M 'Kennedy is "Captain 
of the Clan of Muintircasduff in the reign of David II. Without 
the mac it becomes the surname of the powerful family of Cassilis, 
lords of Carrick ; the first of the noble family of Cassilis and Ailsa 
appears in the years 1214-1249 as Gillescop Mac Kenedi, seneschal 
of Carrie, and his descendant next century married the heiress of 
the family called " de Carrick," at the same time dropping the 
niac and calling himself simply Sir John Kennedy of Dunure. 
A name so characteristically Celtic naturally found a 
second home in the Highlands, where, as *ve saw, owing 
to some original Ulrick or Ualgharg, they are locally known as 

1 Compare the name of Glun-salach, " Dirty-knee," the name of a saint 
(cir. 800), who had been a notorious brigand. 

Personal Names. 313 

M'Uaraig, at least in Lochaber "and vicinity. Cennfota, " Long- 
head," was a Pictish name, while Fergus Cennfata shows it as an 
epithet in early Christian days. Cenn-faelad is a name like Mac- 
con, " Dog's son," or Mael-uma, " Brass-slave ;" it means " Wolfs 
head" (from faelaid, a wolf, shorter faol). It was a favourite 
name in Ireland, whence came O'Cinnfhaelaidh and Kinealy ; in 
Scotland, especially in Ayr arid Galloway, we have M'Neillie in 
plenty from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, that is, 
M'Kinealy curtailed. 

Epithet surnames were adopted early on the borders of the 
Highlands and Lowlands. Thus we early (15th century) meet 
with Bain, " fair," Duff, " black" (also Dow, which is confused 
with the Scotch Dow for Englich Dove), Roy " red" (the Scotch 
Reid exactly), Dunn, "brown," Keir, " dusky," Reoch or Riach, 
"brindled," Begg, little, Moir and Ogg of the Aberdeen borders 
from mor and by ("big, young"), 1 Orr, "dun" (odhar), and others. 
A favourite epithet within the Highland borders was gorm, blue ; 
but it has left no trace of itself in that form, though the absurd 
name of Blue no doubt represents it rather than M'Ghille-ghuirm, 
which now translates it. "White" and "Black" are now repre- 
sented in Gaelic by M'llle-bhain and M'llle-dhuibh (Gille-ban and 
Gille-dubh, " Fair-lad, Black-lad"), which were undoubtedly Gaelic 
Christian names ; but the practice is possibly not old, and the 
Highland Whites and Blacks are as likely to be descendants of 
some Iain Ban or Donal Dubh as to t. ave a patronymic like 
M'llle-bhain or M'llie-dhuibh really originating the name. 

A favourite feudal way of designating a man was by his estate. 
The great earldoms soon gave rise to a crop of cadets bearing their 
land name with or without the de (of), and these junior branches 
again often fell back into the commonality as so many poor tacks- 
men or crofters known as being by descent either Ross, Moray, or 
Sutherland. County names also spread without titular con- 
nection : thus in Cupar Abbey Chartulary one or two tenants are 
first named as, say, John of Fife, that is, John from the neigh- 
bouring county of Fife ; but a little later they or their descendants 
became simply John Fife. Pollock, a name that was early intro- 
duced into the Inverness district, is from the name of a property 
near Glasgow ; the first owners were De Pollock. Highland semi- 
feudal names of this sort are as early as the war of Independence : 
Colquhoun, Buchanan, Drummond, Blair, Calder, Urquhart, Loch, 

1 The favourite Aberdeen Mill or Milne may be mixed Gaelic. We have in 
Petty in 1502 John Myill, whose name in Gaelic means " John the Bald," but 
evidently through time it would become Mill. 

314 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Craig, Tulloch, and to the south Knox (coc, hillock, Adam of 
Knokkis, 1425). It must be said that this was not a Celtic way 
of naming or surnaming even. The Irish named their districts 
after the tribes and not the other way. Cataobh and Gallaobh 
(Sutherland and Caithness) attest to this on Scottish ground; 
and such expressions as Duthaich 'Ic-Aoidh for the Reay Country 
attest to the vitality of the national habit. 

Trade and professional names give a large supply of surnames, 
but, unfortunately, they have usually been translated into 
English. " Smith " hides many a native Gow, though the latter 
still flourishes, and has flourished since the days of the famous 
Gow Crom of Perth immortalised by Scott. Baird and Caird are 
early Gaelic surnames (lard, ceard, " bard, craftsman ") that find 
a Lowland setting; while the Crerars and Dewars kept more 
within the Highland borders (criathrar, sievwright, debradh y 
pilgrim, religious person in charge of relics). The name Sinclair 
is responsible for many a Highland Tinkler (Mac-na-cearda). 
With patronymic forms we have Mackintosh (toiseach, chief), 
Macbrayne (brehon, judge), M'Gown (Smith), M'Intyre (wright), 
M'Gruther (brewster), not to mention the ecclesiastical mac and 
mac-less surnames. 

Of course the Gaelic surname system is the patronymic. The 
clan names took definite shape in the 15th century, and though 
individuals had no surnames even as late as last century, it can be 
easily seen that the surname was there ready to hand in the clan 
name of the district to be assumed or appropriated, if not justly 
one's own, whenever occasion demanded, as, for instance, the 
leaving of the district did demand, when the national wars of the 
17th and 18th centuries called the Highlanders to arms. 

Appended is an index of the Scotch and Irish personal names 
discussed in the foregoing pages : 

Aeneas, 287 Cameron, 311 Crerar, 314 

Alexander, 280 Campbell, 280, 311 Currie, 297 

Alfred, 289 Carroll, 298, 311 Daly, 299 

Allan, 289, 297 Casey, 298 Dewar, 314 

Angus, 279, 281, 297, 301 Charles, 290 Donald, 279, 280 

Archibald, 279, 289 Chattan, 305 Drummond, 313 

Baird, 314 Colin, 304 Dugall, 309 

Beathag, 309 Colquhoun, 313 Duncan, *81 

Bethoc, 309 Columba, 306 Ellen, 287 

Blair, 313 Coyle, 286 Farquhar, 298, 300 

Brown, 281 Connel, 299 Farquharson, 300 

Buchanan, 313 Connor, 299 Fergus, 279, 300 

Caird, 314 Cormac, 302 Fergusson, 301 

Calder, 313 Cowan, 299 Finlayson, 300 

Calum, 306, 308 Craig, 314 FKherty, 300 

Personal Names. 


Flannagan, 295, 301 
Gibbon, 290 
Gibson, 290 
Gilbert, 290 
Gilfillan, 305 
Gillespie, 289 
Gow, 314 

Hector, 280, 287, 299 
Henderson, 289 
Henry, 289 
Hugh, 290 
Huisdean, 291 
Hutchieson, 290 
Hutchinsou, 290 
John, 280 
Keith, 305 
Kelly, 289 
Kennedy, 312 
Kenneth, 297 
Kinealy, 298 
Kinsela, 312 
Knox, 314 
Lachlan, 309 
Livingston, 281, 309, 311 
Loch, 313 
Lorn, 305 
Mahon, 305 
Malcolm, 280, 307 
Malise, 308 
Matheson, 305 
Mellis, 308 
Milligan, 295 
Muiriel, 301. 302 
Munn, 296 
Murchie, 302 
Murchieson, 302 
Myles, 308 
MaeAlister, 281 
MacAskill, 288 
Mac Bean, 309 
MacBeth, 280, 309 
MacBradan, 306 
MacBrayne, 314 
MacCallum, 306 
MacCambill, 280, 302 
MacCambridge, 302 
MacCavell, 286, 302 
MacConnacher, 299 

MacCorcodale, 288 
MacCormick, 302 
MacCorkle, 288 
MacCowan, 299 
MacCrerick, 290 
MacCulloch, 280, 301 
M'Donald, 280, 299 
M'Dougall, 309 
M'Dowal, 309 
M'Duffy, 311 
M'Eachan, 299 
M 'Echern, 299 
M'Egan, 295, 297 
M'Erchar, 300 
M'Fetridge, 302 
M'Garrol, 298, 311 
M'Gibbon, 290 
M'Gillony, 310 
M'Gown, 314 
M'Gregor, 287 
M'Guire, 296 
M'Gruther, 314 
M'Haffie, 311 
M'Innes, 297 
M'liityre, 314 
M'Kay, 291 
M'Kechnie, 299 
MacKeith, 305 
MacKelly, 298 
MacKendrick, 289 
MacKenna, 297 
MacKenzie, 297 
MacKichan, 305 
MacKillaig, 298 
MacKinealy, 313 
MacKinlay, 300 
MacKinnon, 300 
MacKintosh, 314 
MacKirdie, 298 
MacLarty, 300 
MacLeay, 311 
MacLellan, 305 
MacLennan, 300 
MacLonvie, 310 
MacLurg, 291 
MacLullich, 301 
Mac Mahon, 305 

M'Millan, 308 
M Morran, 302 
M'Murchie, 302 
M'Murtrie, 298 
M'Neilage, 302 
M'Neillie, 313 
M'Phee, 311 
MThun, 296 
M'Quat, 289 
M'Quattie, 289 
M'Queen, 303 
M'Rae, 280, 309 
M'Raild, 289 
M'Rerick, 290 
M'Robbie, 290 
M'Rory, 302 
M'Sherry, 304 
M'Tyre, 309 
M'Uaraig, 313 
MacVean, 309 
MacVurich, 297 
M'Watt, 289 
M'Wattie, 289 
M' William, 281 
Norman, 309 
O'Daly, 299 
O'Kelly, 298 
Osgar, 288 
O'Sherry, 304 
Peter, 287 
Richard, 290 
Robert, 290 
Roderick, 280, 290' 
Roger, 290 
Ronald, 288 
Salmond, 306 
Shaughnessy, 303 
Sinclair, 314 
Smith, 280 
Stephen, 287 
Torquil, 288 
Tulloch, 314 
Ulric, 289 
Urquharb, 313 
Walter. 289 
Watt, 289 
William, 280, 289 

316 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

23rd JANUARY, 1896. 

At this meeting Augustus C. Baillie, Esq., Dochfour ; Simon 
Mackenzie, Esq., The Hotel, Lochboisdale, South Uist ; and Eric 
Mackay, Esq., Wandsworth, London, were elected honorary members; 
and Dr Campbell, Laggan; Mr Paul Campbell, Kingussie; Mr John 
Macnab, Kilmuir, Skye ; Mr Donald Paterson, Askernish, South 
Uist ; and Miss Goodrich Freer, Paddington, London, were elected 
ordinary members, of the Society. 

Office-bearers for 1896 having thereafter been elected, Mr 
William Mackay, solicitor, read a paper contributed by John 
Mackay, Esq., C.E., Hereford, entitled "Sutherland Place Names 
Parish of Dornoch." Mr Mackay's paper was as 1 follows : 



This parish in extent is one of the minor parishes in the 
county, yet the most important in its history, ancient and modern, 
social, religious, and political. It contains the county town of 
the same name, with its Cathedral Church, Bishop's Palace and 
Castle, Tolbooth, and County Buildings. Its area is 33,931 acres, 
of which 3194 are foreshore, 284 water, and includes 717 acres on 
the north side of the Fleet River detached from the parish of 
Rogart in the early part of the 13th century by Bishop Gilbert 
Moray (de Moravia) for the benefit of the Cathedral built by him 
in Dornoch on reorganising his diocese of Sutherland and Caithness 
(1222-45), which, previous to his accession, was in a very chaotic 
condition, consequent upon the continuous plundering expeditions 
and invasions of the pagan Norsemen, their frequent hostilities 
amongst themselves after subduing the country, the desultory 
efforts of the natives, aided by some northern barons, to resist 
their encroachments, and the weakness of the Scottish Govern- 
ment, whose rule then was scarcely felt in the North. Even in 
the reign of David I. of pious memory, the "Sair Sanct," he 
could only command (1127-53) " Rognald Earl of Orkney and the 
Earl (Harald), joint Earls of Orkney and Caithness, and all good 
men of Cateneis and Orkney, as they loved him, to respect the 
monks dwelling at Durriach in Cateneis, and their men and goods, 
and to defend them whithersoever they might go in those parts, 
not allowing any one to do them injury or shame." (Reg. Dun- 
fermelyn). During the rule of the Norse Earls of Caithness, 

Sutherland Place Names. 317 

which then included the whole of Sutherland, from 875, when 
Sigurd Eysteinsen and Thorstein the Red subdued the whole of 
Sutherland to Ekkialsbakki (Oykell), to 1196, when Rognald 
(Reginald of the Isles) expelled Harold from Caithness, and 
relieved Sutherland of Norse subjection and oppression, the whole 
diocese was a continual scene of turmoil, disorder, rapine, and 
bloodshed ; nor were the disorders and atrocities committed by 
Norse Earls and Norsemen finally put an end to till 1222, when 
Alexander II. led an army into Caithness to punish the Norse 
Bondi for roasting the Bishop of the diocese. Hence we need not 
be surprised that on assuming the bishopric Gilbert de Moravia 
found only one single priest ministering in St Bar's old Cathedral 
of Dornoch. This able and eminent ecclesiastic, a son of the laird 
of Duffus, in Moray, of which diocese he was Archdeacon (1203-22), 
aided by Hugh Freskyn of Sutherland, his relative, and by the 
influence of Alexander II. , the Pope, and Abbots of the South of 
Scotland, soon restored order in the churches of his diocese, 
obtained grants of land from the proprietors for their support, 
divided the diocese into parishes much the same as we now find 
them, and provided them with priests and curates. To him we 
owe the first known charters in Sutherland and Caithness, a 
memorial of his excellent business qualities. 

To extend worship, and propagate the benefits of religion, he 
found means to build a new Cathedral Church in Dornoch, dedi- 
cated it to the Virgin Mary, and, in proportion to his means, to 
make it conventual. He ordained that in this church there should 
be ten canons constantly ministering either by themselves or their 
vicars, five of the canons to hold the dignity of Dean, Precentor, 
Chancellor, Treasurer, and Archdeacon, each of whom, as well as 
the Bishop and the Abbot of Scone, who had been appointed a 
canon in the church, should find a priest or vicar to officiate daily 
in his own absence, and the other three canons should find deacons 
continually to assist and serve the said priests within the church. 

Sir R. Gordon states that the glass used in the Cathedral 
windows was manufactured at " Sytheraw," a short distance west 
of Dornoch. 

Bishop Gilbert Moray died in 1245, was afterwards canonised, 
and became the Patron Saint of the Cathedral he built, and the 
diocese he so well organised and ruled. In his latter days he had 
a controversy with William Earl of Sutherland about the episcopal 
lands. The Bishop was too strong for the warrior Earl, and the 
lands were continued to the Cathedral by two of his successors. 

The length of the parish from east to west varies from 4J to 9 
miles, and its breadth from north to south varies from 1 mile to 

318 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

8i miles. It has a seaboard of 12 miles, low and flat, fringed on 
the south by the Cuthil and Dornoch sands and links, and on the 
east by che'Embo and Coul links. From these low flat lands the 
inland gradually rises north-westwards to 260 feet above sea level 
at Asdale, 700 feet at Creag Asdale, 290 feet at the Poles, 700 feet 
at Creag Amail, 930 feet at Creag Liath, 1000 feet at Meall-nan- 
eun, 898 feet at Cnoc-na-feadaige, 1048 feet at Meall-a-chaorumu, 
and 1144 feet at Beinn Douuil. 

The river Fleet runs on the northeA limit of the parish proper, 
and divides from it the part detached from Rogart. The Carnaig, 
on the north-west, issues from Loch Buie and runs north-eastward 
into the Fleet estuary at Torboll, a course of about six and a half 
miles. The Evelix, rising amongst the hills on the eastern 
confines of the adjoining parish, Creich, flowing through Loch-an- 
Lagain by Achlormlarie, winds eastward to Evelix, then south- 
westwards into the Dornoch Firth near the Meikle Ferry, a length 
of 13 miles. 

The valley of the Carnaig is now devoid of population, and 
forms part of the sheep farm attached to Torboll ; but the valley 
of the Evelix, anciently " Strath Ormalaye," is studded with 
hamlets of small tenantry to the village of Evelix, and thence to 
its junction with the sea, runs tkrough several well-cultivated 
large farms. 

The soil is sandy and gravelly towards the seaboard, clayey 
more inland, with an irregular belt of black loam intervening. 

The rocks are of the secondary formation, chiefly sandstone, 
which has been largely quarried for house and fence wall building. 
Coal was found near Clashmore ; it was submitted to analysis and 
pronounced to be similar to that raised at Brora. 

The only remains of Pictish towers are those at Brae, in Strath- 
carnaig, on the banks of the River Tollie, near its confluence with 
the Carnaig. In this Strath are also cairns and tumuli, probably 
burial places of the days of old, and memorials of the conflicts of 
the natives with the pagan Norsemen. The ruins of another are 
to be seen near the Lecaich, above East-Kinauld. 

The ruins of the ancient fortalices of Skelbo and Proncy are 
still to be seen. There is another at Torboll. These will be 
noticed in Place Names. 


Beinn-an-tairbh G. tairbh, gen. of tarbh, bull, Mountain of 
the bull, from its shape and aspect; more correctly Bull .Mountain. 
The word tarbh is a very primitive one ; it occurs in one shape or 

Sutherland Place Names. 319 

other in many languages with almost he same pronunciation. 
Ir. tarbh, Manx tarroo, W. tarw, Corn, tarow, Arm. taru, taro, 
Span, toro, taro, It. toro, Lat. taur-us. Gr. taur-os, Fr. taureau, 
Chal. tor, Syr. taur, Phen. thor, Arab, taur, tauro. 

Carn-a-phrionsa G. the cairn of the prince ; alleged to have 
been reared to commemorate the fall and burial of a Norse noble, 
a son of one of the kings of Norway, on the top of Creag Amail, 
above Torboll. Cam is found in many languages. Ir. earn, Manx 
earn, W. earn, Corn, earn, Arm. earn, It. and Span, carro, Chal. 
karun, Arab. kern. 

Carn-liath G. grey rock or grey heap of stones. On and 
around the Carn-liath are many tumuli. Ir. liath, grey ; Manx 
Iheeah, grey ; W. llwyd ; Corn, liu, grey, or dye ; Arm. luz, grey ; 
Gr. lei-os. 

Cnoc-odhar G. the Dun Hill. 600 feet. 

Creag-amail G. amail, hindrance. This rock rises almost 
perpendicular from the south shore of the Fleet estuary between 
Torboll and the Mound. Previous to the construction of the 
Mound, the tides rose up several feet against the face of the rock, 
and prevented pedestrians from passing along it while the tide 
was at the full. At the ebb they could pass. It was a well- 
frequented foot-road. Hence the name, Rock of the Hindrance. 

Creag-dal-na-mein G. rock of the field of the ore or mineral. 
Ir. mein, W. mwyn, Corn, moina. 870 feet. 

Creag-ainneidh G. ainneidh or ainneamh, rare ; the rare rock. 
700 ft. Meall-ainneidh, the rare shaped lumpy hill. 

Meall-a-chaoruinn G; the hill of the mountain ash. 

Meall-clais-nan-each G. the hill of the hollow of the horses. 
Ir. each, Lat. equ-us, Gr. Eo. ik-kos ; W., Corn., Arm. march ; G. 
marcach, a rider ; Manx markiagh; riding. 

Meall-nan-eun G. the hill of the birds, probably eagle, 
ptarmigan, or the auk. 1000 feet. 


Loch-an-tairbh G. Lake of the bull. 

Loch-a-ghuibhais G. Lake of the firwood. 

Loch-nan-laogh G. Lake of the calves ; pi. laoigh. Ir. laogh, 
calf ; Manx Iheiy, W. llo, Corn, loch, leauh, Arm. leue, lue. 

Loch-lansaichte G. lan-sathaichte, abundantly filled, in refer- 
ence to its being well supplied by a larger lake and various 
streams. It lies low among the hills, with a narrow outlet. G. 
Ian, full ; Ir. Ian, Manx lane, W. llawn, Corn, lann, Arm. Ian, leun, 
Lat. p-len-us. 

320 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Loch-ruagaidh G. Lajce of the flight. Near it are many 
tumuli, indicating that a conflict took place in its vicinity, in 
Norse or clan feud times. 


A-charnaig G. charnaich, gen. of carnaich, rocky ; the rocky 
river, in reference to its rocky bed and banks. 

Allt-tigh-Neill G. Stream near Neill's house. 

Evelix Takes its name from the principal hamlet near which 
it passes. (See Place Names). 

Fleet N. fljot, A.S. fleet ; compare fleet, Fleet Street, North 
Fleet, South Fleet, on the river Thames, equivalent to the Lat. 
ostium, river mouth The Norsemen had several settlements on 
this river, particularly at Skelbo and Torboll, where in the twelfth 
century lived a redoubtable Norse warrior named Liot, whose 
ghost haunts Crcag Amail, near Torboll ; so says tradition once 
believed in by the natives. 

Tollie G. toll-aich, full of holes and pools. G. toll, a hole ; 
Ir. toll, Manx towl, W. twl, Corn, toll, Arm. toull, Arm. toull don, 
G. toll-domhain, deep hole ; Corn, toll-down, deep hole. 


Ach-an-chanter G. and E. achadh-an-chanter, the field of the 
chanter or chief singer in the Cathedral of Dornoch. 

Ach-an-treasawrer G. and E. field of the treasurer. 

Achley G. achadh liath, the grey field ; for Hath, grey, and its 
affinities, see Creag-liath. 

Achlormarie G. 1557, Auchegormalaye, modern G. achadh- 
gorm-laraich, verdant site of the ruined building. This adjective 
of colour signifies in modern G. and Ir. blue; Manx, gorrym, blue ; 
W. gwrm, dusky, dun. 

Ach-an-duach G. achadh-na-dubhach, field of the gloom. 

Ach-loch G. achadh-an-loch, field at the lake. 

Achinel G. Achadh Neill, Neill's field. Allt-tigh-Neill is 
quite near. 

Achvaich G. 1557, Aucheveyich, achadh-a-bheathaich, the 
field of the animal. Beathaich accords with veyich in pronunci- 
ation. Beach is wasp, and accords to the pronunciation of veyich ; 
it may mean the field of the wasps. 

Ach-chosnie G. 1275, Hachencossie, achadhchoisneadh, the 
field of service (free of rent for service). 

Achvandra G. 1525, Auchandro, 1529 Hauchandrow, Achadh- 
andra, Andrew's field. This is likely to be the correct definition, 

Sutherland Place Names. 321 

as in 1510 King James the Fourth grants to Andrew Kynnard 
the dues of Skelbo, and Achvandra is in the vicinity of Skelbo. 
(Reg. Sec. Sig. Vol. 4-79.) 

Ardallie- G. 1557, Ardellis, ard-aillidh, the beautiful emin- 
ence, from which an extensive view can be obtained up and down 
the Dornoch Firth into Ross southward, and northward as far as 
the hills will permit. Ard is derived from the G. root-word ar, 
high, lofty, rock, mountain, or eminence. In either of these 
significations it is met with in many languages. G. ard, high, 
height, or eminence ; Ir. the same, Manx do., Cor. do. W. hardh 
(Pryce), Lat. ardu-us, Gr. Arden, Zend, ard and art, high ; 
Ardennes, a department in the north of France is Ard-innis, high 
table land ; Heb. ar, rock ; Armenian, ar, elevated, ardyan, sum- 
mit ; Mogul, artaga, I put higher ; Gaelic, Ard-thog, raise aloft. 

Ard-shave G. Ard-seimh, quiet height, in reference to its 
seclusion, and being well sheltered by surrounding higher heights. 

Bad-ninnish G. Bad-an-innis, bad, a thicket; inn is does not 
invariably signify island ; it is frequently applied to pasture or 
plain ; here it has this signification. Bad, thicket, or grove of 
trees is frequently applied to a habitation which has a clump of 
trees near it. In the past the better class of houses generally had 
a clump of trees to its windward, hence the origin of applying bad 
to a habitation. In Donegal and the West of Ireland it was a 
common custom to have a clump of trees to windward of the 
dwellings, however humble, for shelter. 

Bal-druim G. baile-an-druim, township on the ridge. 

Bal-loan G. baile-an-lon, township at the meadow. 

Balvraid G. baile-a-bhraghad, braghad, upper parts, the 
township on the upper parts or higher land. This township is on 
the ridge of land west of and much above Skelbo Castle, of which 
it forms a pendicle. It is interesting to note its various spelling 
in the Sutherland Charters 1525, Balnobraid; 1536, Balbrade ; 
1551, Balnabrayt; 1560, Ballewrat ; 1562, Ballwraat. 

Birichen G. bioraichean, colts or calves, or in O.G. wells or 
springs of water, of which there are many in the district ; but 
adopting a definition which signifies its natural aspect, it would 
be bior-a-chinn, the point, or end of the head, the head being a 
ridge sloping down to the Evelix river, where it makes a sudden 
turn round this head. 

Black-hill Anglicised form of the Gaelic, Cnocan-du. 

Boggaii G. from bog, bogach, damp, swampy ; Ir. bog, damp; 
Manx bog, moist. 


3-22 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Brae Anglicised form of the Gaelic, braigh, upper part ; W. 
brai, outermost part, bre, mount; Arm, breich ; Corn, brech, arm, 
the upper part of the hand ; Lat. brachium, arm, from G. ; Norse 
bra, brow, bra-vollr, brae-town, braigh bhaile. 

Camore G. cadha, big narrow pass. 

Cambus-more G. camus-mor, big bay, camus, cambus, bay, 
found in many place names, Morcambe Bay, &c. Gr. Kamphos, a 
curve or bend ; W. cam. bent, camu, to bend ; Corn, cam, crooked; 
Manx cam, crooked or bent ; Ir. cam, cr^)ked. 

Cambus-savie G. camus-sabhaidh, the bay of the sorrel, a 
large bend in the preceding. The shores of the Camus-savie 
abound with sorrel. Old forms 1525, camrna-saffe : 1536, 
cambus-affe ; 1551, cambus-sawe ; 1560, cambusawye. 

Clash-more G. the large or extensive hollow. G. clais, Ir. 
clais, Manx clash, W. clais, Arm. cleis, clais, claiz, cleiz. 

Clash-mugach G. mugach, gloomy, the gloomy hollow. 

Clash-na-cuinneag G. cuinneag, bucket, the bucket hollow ; 
Ir. cuinneog ; Manx cuinnag, powder horn ; W. cunnog, milk pail. 

Coille-poll-na-h-airde G. wood at the pool in the height, coille, 
wood, grove, forest. W. Kelli, grove ; Gr. Kalon and Kelon. 
Poll, a pool ; Ir. poll, Manx poyl, W. pwll, Corn, pol, Arm. poul. 
Airde, poss. case of Ard. 

Crasg G. a pass or pathway across hills, frequent in Suther- 

Cuil G. back, back land ; Ir. coole. See Joyce I., 531. 

Cuthil G. may bq the same as the preceding. Old form 
1265, Sutherland Charter, cutthel dawach, the davoch of Cutthell. 
This is probably Norse, and may be the name of a Norseman who 
held this land under a superior. Kettill was a common Norwegian 
name, and possibly the farm was named after him. It is near the 
Keikle Ferry. 

Crockan G. corruption of cnocau, a small hill or eminence. 

Croit-an-easbuig G. the Bishop's Croft. 

Dal-chail G. dal, meadow, field ; chail, gen. of cal, cabbages ; 
the cabbage field. Ir. dail, Manx dayl, W. dol, Corn, dal, Arm. 
dol, Ger. dal, thai; Norse dalr; Dan., Swed., Du., dal; Eng. dale. 
G. cal, cabbage ; Ir. cal, Manx kail, W. cawl, Corn, caal, Arm. 
caol, col ; Gr. kaul-os, Lat. caul-is, Ger. kohl, Swed. kol, Fr. chou, 
Eng. kail. 

Dalnameinn G. meinn, ore, mineral ; the dale of the ore. 

Davoch-fin G. davach, dabhach, a measure of land, or lot ; 
and fionn, fair, fine, pleasant ; fair portion of land. 

Dornoch 1131-53, durnach; 1222-45, durnach ; 1275, durn- 
ach; 1456, dornouch ; 1568, dornoch; 1640, dornagh, dornoch ; 

Sutherland Place Names. 323 

traditionally from Dorneich, horse-hoof. When Charles I. raised 
Dorncch to be a Royal Burgh, the corporate body some time after- 
wards adopted a horse-shoe, with the motto " Sans Peur" as the 
burgh arms, from the local tradition of a victory obtained over the 
Norsemen, who landed near the town in the year 1259, by the 
natives, commanded by the Earl of Sutherland, the Bishop 
Gilbert, and his brother, Richard de Moravia, laird of Skelbo 
barony. The conflict was fierce and furious. The Earl singled 
out the Norse commander as the opponent worthy of bis steel. 
In the course of the combat, the Norseman either disarmed the 
Earl, or broke his sword, upon which, casting about for another 
weapon, he saw a horse-hoof near him, which he picked up and 
hurled at the Norse Commander with such force that he fell life- 
less on the sward. Seeing their commander killed, the Norsemen 
fled to their ships, leaving their fallen commander and comrades 
on the field, \\here they were interred. Afterwards a large stone, 
named " Clach-an-righ," was erected to mark the spot where the 
fallen chief was buried, and another was reared where the combat 
took place between the two generals to commemorate the victory, 
the Earl's prowess, and to mark his gratitude for his providential 
escape. This stone was in the form of a cross, and named " Crois- 
a-Mhorfhear," or the Earl's cross. The battlefield is a short 
distance eastward of the town. 

Fatal for the fond legend of the town name being derived from 
the gallant action of the Earl in 1259, the date given of the conflict, 
we find David I. commending the Monks of Durnach to the Norse 
Earls, Rognald and Harald, probably about 1150. David died 
1153 ; so we see that Durnach had its present name one hundred 
and nine years before the battle on the Dornoch links, 1259. In 
Hugh Freskyn's charters, confirmed by his successor, William, 
first Earl of Sutherland, 1222-45, we have in these charters the 
town name, Durnach, at least 30 years before 1259, the date of 
the battle given by historians and annalists. The first syllable of 
the name, Durn, Dwrn, Dourn, are British words for dorn, pi. 
duirn, fist, fists, in Gaelic. In Cornish it was dorn, fist. In 
Amcric, dourn means hand. It seems clear that the town name 
was Durnach previous to the date of the battle, and equally clear 
that the incident which occurred in the fight, however honourable 
to the gallant earl, did not give its name to the town. The more 
probable derivation of the word is that it was applied to the 
town centuries anterior to the reign of David I., and the charters 
of Gilbert de Moravia, from natural aspects, possibly from its 
pebbly shore, nearer then to the town than it is now. Durnaig, 

324 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dornaig, are obsolete Celtic words for pebbles. Dornaidh is- 
another obsolete Celtic word for a narrow channel of the sea, 
running out and in, according to ebb and flow of the tides. Quite 
close to the east side of the old part of Dornoch is Dornoch Burn, 
with its pebbly channel, into which the tides ran in at the flow 
and ran back again at the ebb. This burn channel may have in 
the lapse of centuries risen, and the phenomenon of tides coming 
in and going out may not now be seen, but geologically 
speaking ihe very site of Dornoch and westward from it was once 
under sea water and formed a kind of bay ; the filling up of it 
was favoured by the upthrow of the sandstone on the east side of 
the burn, hence the probability is that the name was given it from 
its ancient, pebbly shore, and tides coming in and going out its 
burn channel. Dornie is the name of a hamlet situated on the 
narrow channel connecting Loch-Duich with the sea, West Coast of 

Dornoch is very pleasantly situated near the sea. Its links for 
golfing cannot be excelled. Whatever its name may signify, it 
imposed it upon the parish. Sir Robert Gordon, writing of it 
about the time it received its charter, 1628, says, "It is situate 
betuein the rivers of Portnecouter and Vnes (lines, N. : no pro- 
montory), and is the cheeff burgh and seat of the Shirreffs of 
Soutberland, wher all the homings and inhibitions are registered 
and all denunciations made and proclamations red. About this 
town along the sea coast ther are the fairest and largest linkes or 
green fields of any pairt of Scotland, fitt for archery, gofling, 
ryding, and all other exercise ; they doe surpasse the fields of 
Montrose or St Andrews. In the town of Dornogh ther are four 
fairs kept yeirlie, Sanct Gilbert his fair, Sanct Barr his fair, Sanct 
Margaret's fair, and Sanct Bernard's fayre, unto the which ther 
resorteth a great confluence of people to traffique from all pairts of 
the Kingdome, St Gilbert his fayre is keipt yeirlie the first day of 
Aprile, St Margaret's fayre is keipt yeirlie the tuentie daye of 
August, and St Barr his fayre wes keipt in former tymes the 
tuentie fyfth day of September, bot Alexander, Erie of Southerland 
procured it to be transferred and removed from the 25th day of 
September to the tenth day of October. Everie one of these fairs 
continues for the space of thrie dayes." The continuator of Sir 
Robert's history informs us that "this year of God, 1631, there 
was a business of the Earl of Southerland's finished which cost Sir 
Robert Gordon much paines and travell to compasse for the space 
of seaven years together both at court and before the commission 
of surrenders, since the same was established ; the matter was the 

Sutherland Place Names. 32$ 

settling of the shriffship legalitie of Southerland and enlarging the 
bounds of the shriffship of Southerland, and the dismembering off 
it from the shriffdome of Invernes, and getting the town of Dornogh 
to be made the head burgh of the shire in all time coming." 

"In 1641 the Parliament passed an Act changing the yearly 
fair held at the royal burgh of Dornoch on the 10th October to one 
to begin on the 22nd October, to continue for three days, and to 
be called Saint Gilbert fair, because the former fair was hurtful to 
the burgh and its neighbourhood be eatting and destroyeing thair 
cornes thane being vpone the grund and vsuallie win nor lead at 
the tyme thairof." 

The original Parish Church of Dornoch, of unknown antiquity, 
was dedicated to St Bar, Finbar. Fimber, a native of Caithness, 
and Bishop of Cork, who nourished in the 6th century (Annals of 
the Four M.), but according to others in the llth. Torfaeus gives 
the following story of him, which he dates about 995: " Ulf the 
Bad, an inhabitant of Orkney, murdered Harald, an inhabitant of 
Ronaldsha ; Helg, the son of Harald, in revenge slew Bar, the 
friend of Ulf, plundered Ulf s house and lands, and carried off his 
daughter Helga. Ulf pursued and overtook him on the coast of 
Caithness. A sea fight ensued, and Helg, getting the worst of it, 
threw himself into the sea and swam ashore, carrying with him 
Ulf s daughter. They were kindly and hospitably received by a 
poor man named Thorfinn, in whose cottage they were married 
and dwelt for two years. Ulf being dead, they returned to 
Orkney, and their son Bar, who travelled and acquired great 
learning, became Bishop in Ireland, and famous for his miracles." 
His festival, which has been noticed, was called " Feille Barr," 
continued to be held in Dornoch as a term day and fair, till 
- towards the end of the 18th century. 

The ancient Church of St Bar, whether in ruins or otherwise, 
existed till the beginning of the 17th century. Sir R. Gordon, 
writing in 1630, says of it, " that it was of late demolished in the 
dayes of King James the Sixth." 

The Cathedral Church built by Bishop Gilbert during his rule 
(1222-45) fared fairly well amidst intestine disorders, feuds, raids, 
and conflicts till 1570, when the Earl of Caithness, becoming 
guardian of Alexander, the young Earl of Sutherland, during his 
minority conceived mortal enmity against the Murrays ,for 
assisting the young Earl to escape from his control, and taking 
him to his relatives in Strathbogie. Assembling the men of 
Caithness, and procuring the assistance of the Mackay Chief, he 
Towed to exterminate the Murrays, and sent his son, the Master 

326 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of Berriedale, to carry out his designs. Being joined by Mackay, 
the Master of Berriedale marched to Dornoch, where the Murray s. 
had gathered together. The Hurrays were brave fellows, and 
excellent warriors ; being outnumbered, they took refuge in the 
Cathedral and the Castle, and defended themselves with their 
wonted gallantry for several days. Their assailants, unable to 
force them, set fire to the Cathedral. The besieged fled to the 
steeple, from which, nor from the Castle, could thsy be dislodged. 
After a few days, a surrender was agreea to, upon condition that 
the Murray s would leave the county and give hostages for the due 
performance of the conditions.' Earl George refused to ratify the 
agreement, and because the Murrays would not submit to his own 
terms, he ordered the three hostages to be put to death. Mackay 
was indignant, though not friendly to the Murrays : he and the 
Master of Caithness, with a humanity of spirit not very common 
at that time, would have nothing to do with such a dastardly 
cruel affair. Mackay marched oft with his men, which highly 
incensed Earl George, who was at the time King's Justiciary for 
Caithness and Sutherland. The eventual result of this atrocity 
was the ruin of the wicked Earl and his successor. 

Three years previously Dornoch town was burned by the 
Mackay Chief. 

The Cathedral, after the siege and burning of 1570, seemed to 
remain unrepaired. It is recorded by Sir Robert Gordon that a 
portion of its walls fell down during a terrific gale on the 5th 
November, 1605, the clay upon which the Gunpowder Plot was 
discovered ; but the massive central tower, topped with a dwarfish 
spire, remained intact, and two of its fine Gothic windows. In 
1614 the 13th Earl of Sutherland partially repaired it, so as to be 
available for a parish church ; and in 1835-37 it was wholly 
rebuilt by the Duchess-Countess at a cost of 6000. The present 
fabric, containing 1000 sittings, is a mixture of Gothic and 
Vandalism, and measures 126 feet by 92 feet across the transepts. 
In the southern transept lie sixteen Earls of Sutherland. In the 
northern is a stone sarcophagus, removed from the choir, and sur- 
mounted by a cross-legged effigy of the founder, or his brother, 
Sir Richard de Moravia. The choir, now the mausoleum of the 
Sutherland family, is graced by a marble full-length statue of 
the first Duke by Chantrey, with a large tablet behind recording 
the lineage and virtues of his Duchess-Countess, born 1765, died 
1839. He was born in 1758, died 1833. 

An old tower fronting the Cathedral represents the Bishop's. 
Palace, which was also burned in 1570; it lay in ruins till 1813,. 

Sutherland Place Names, 327 

when part of it was fitted up as the County Court-house and 
prison. Subsequently the whole was removed except the west 
tower, lofty and picturesque ; and on the site thus cleared were 
built the large and handsome County Buildings, comprising 
Court house, Prison, Record Room, and County Meeting Room. 
The prison was discontinued in 1880, that of Dingwall being used 
for the few malefactors Sutherland supplies. In 188 1 the ancient 
tower was refitted and refurnished as a quaint dwelling for sports- 

Till the beginning of the present century the town was 
surrounded by a court and a wall, in the inside of which were 
vaults or booths used as shops or dwellings (Notes 1854 by R S. 
Taylor). The court and a lane, either on the east or west side of 
the wall, were probably the " Castle Yaird " and " Castle Clos," 
noticed in the titles of certain tenements. The new foundation 
called the Castle appears to have stood on a different site. 

It would appear that the city and burgh of Dornoch was 
formerly of much larger extent than at present The burgh cross, 
apparently of some antiquity, though broken, has been repaired, 
and still occupies its old site on the north of the cemetery of St 
Gilbert. Beside it stood the town house or prison mentioned by 
Pennant in 1769, taken down in 1813. The fairs were formerly 
held in the church-yard, which was unenclosed, and through which 
at the end of the last century the public road passed. 

The burn previously noticed, and so often mentioned in the 
charters of the burgh property, intersects the town from north to 
south, and was crossed immediately to the east of the church-yard 
by a bridge, also mentioned in charters, but now superseded by 
another, and at other three points by stepping-stones correspond- 
ing to the roads or lanes. (Notes, 1854, R.S.T.). 

Of all sites of the Canons' Houses, all or most of them seem to 
have been extant in 1769, only two are now remembered the 
house of the Caaon of Clyne (the dean) at the east end of the 
town, and that of the Canon of Creich (the chanter) at the south- 
east, now 1854, the site of the Caledonian Bank. (R.S.T.) 

It is said that in 1271 Sir Patrick Moray founded a convent of 
Red Friars or Trinity Friars at Dornoch, and that after the 
English became masters of Berwick the lands belonging to the 
Red Friars there was given to the Friars at Dornoch. 

A monastery, in modern times known as Franciscan, stood at 
the south-east corner of the town on the road leading to the links. 

Druimastle G. druim, ridges. For the second part see Astel. 

328 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Drumdivan G. divan, diomhan, useless, the useless ridge. 
This rid^e, a little to the west of Dornoch, is a curious and 
interesting geological feature. It is from 50 to 60 feet in height, 
narrow on the top, and slopes down on both sides like Tomna- 
hurich, near Inverness. It may possibly have been called 
diomhan, literally doing nothing, from its sterility, uselessness for 
pasture, producing nothing. It is now planted, fine trees growing 
on it. 

Enibo N. 1222-45, Ethenball ; nativf pronunciation, Eyrribol, 
from eyrar, gravelly banks, and bol, farm, cultivated land. Near 
this fishing village" stood the old castle of Embo, the seat of the 
Gordons of that ilk. It gave way to the present house, which is 
now used as a farm-house. 

Evelix G. 1222-45, Awelech ; 1275, Awlec ; 1448, Evillik ; 
1560, Avelik ; 1563, Evelik, Evillik ; 1566, Awelik ; 1607, Evelik ; 
1616, Evilick. Ath, a ford ; leac, flag or flat stone ; the flag ford, 
similar to Ath-cliath, -hurdle ford ; Dublin, Eblana. 

Eagle-field Anglicised form of Achadh-na-h-iolaire. 

Flad N. flod, flooding, given to flooding by tides. 

Fleuchary G. fliuch-airidh, wet sheiling or pastures. 

Fourpenny Anglicised form of Gaelic Ceathair peighinnean, 
fourpenny laud. 

Innis-aonar G. the solitary field, in reference to its distance 
from any other, or from any other habitation. 

Kinauld G. ceann-an-allt, end of the river or stream, in refer- 
ence to the river stream losing itself in the tide which reached 
this place at even low tides, and at high tides went a mile farther, 
previous to the construction of the Mound, 1812. 

Kuock-glas G. cnoc-glas, the pale or grey hillock, glas, faded 

Leacaich G. Flaggy place. 

Leathad-a-chaoruinn G. the mountain ash declivity. 

Leathad-na-cloiche G. the declivity of the stone. 

Leathad-nan-uan G. the declivity of the lambs. 

Led-na-shearmag G. leathad-na-seamraig, the declivity of the 
shamrock or trefoil ; this is an instance of Gaelic-speaking people 
misplacing letters in pronunciation, shearmag instead of sheamrag. 

Lon-doire-nan-each G. meadow of the thicket of the horses. 

Lon-fliuch G. the wet meadow. 

Lon-more G. the big meadow. 

Mullin-na-fua G. nauillinn-na-fuath, mill of the spectre. 

Milton Anglicised form of Baile-a-mhuillinn, the mill township. 

Pitgrudie O.G. Pictish, pit, pet, peth, a place, and grud, 

Sutherland Place Names. 329 

grudaieh, grit, the gritty, or stony place ; Corn, grow, gravel, 
grouan, stone, moor stone, or conglomerate, composed of small 
stones, sand and talc. 

Poles Eng. name given to this place, where one piece of road 
diverges into four rods leading to different places ; poles were put 
up to indicate whither each road led. 

Pollie G. pollaich, river-side place, where pools of stagnant 
water are. 

Proncy This Place Name seems to be shrouded in the mists 
and mysteries of antiquity. Old forms of it as given in charters 
are thus 1222-45, Promci; 1275, Promsy ; 1448, Promsy; 1560, 
Pronsie; 1563, Spronsy ; 1566, Prompsie ; 1607, Pronsie ; 1616, 
Pronsie. This place must have had a name anterior to the intro- 
duction of Christianity by the Columbian missionaries, and the 
subjugation and occupation of it by the Norsemen from 875 to 
1196, when the native language must have been partly Pictish 
and partly the Irish Gaelic of the day, the language of the 
missionaries of Christianity in these northern quarters, who no 
doubt introduced the Erse or Irish Gaelic into the Highlands. 
The appellation must have been fixed by the natives long before 
the Norsemen took possession of it. It was they who probably 
built the stronghold here, the ruins of which yet remain ; but the 
name is indefinable by Norse or Gaelic ; therefore we have to fall 
back for a definition of it by the language spoken by the natives 
before the advent of the Columbian monks ; the Pictish. which 
was a dialect of the British, more related to the Welsh, Cornish, 
and Armoric than to the Gaelic, Irish, or Scottish. The remains 
of it, left to us in Place Names in Sutherland, Ross, Inverness, 
and the East Coast of Scotland, seem to corroborate this view. If 
we assume that the Pictish language was a dialect of the British, 
as the Cornish and the Welsh are, we have no difficulty in 
defining Proncy by its natural aspect. Nicely situated on the 
middle of a broad declivity north-westward from Dornoch, and 
about two miles from the sea in a direct northern line, 260 feet 
above sea level ; on this declivity are three distinct protuberances, 
the Pictish or British term for which was brcn, protuberance, 
breast, pap, or teat. In ancient Gaelic we had bronn, breast, bru, 
broina, bruinne, belly. Welsh bru ; Arm. brou. Like many 
other parts of the body, the breast enters largely into the com- 
position of Place Names in Britanny, Cornwall, Wales, and 
Northern Scotland. Bron-sehan, dry rounded hill ; Bronheulog, 
sunny breast, Tynyvron, <fec. By mutation the labial b frequently 
becomes p, and we have pron, breast, and se, suidh ; O.G. seat; 

330 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Corn, se ; W. sedd, seat ; then pron-se would be seat on the 
breast (of a declivity), a perfect description of Proncy. W. 
bronedd, breast of a hill ; see, in English, the seat of a bishop. 

Proncy-nain Proncy, seat on the hill breast ; nain, corruption 
of G. mhan, below. Proncy-mhan, Proncy lower. 150 feet above 
sea level. 

Proncy-croy Proncy-cruaidh, cruaidh, hard, sterile, soil-less. 

Pulrossie Pictish, Pul, pool and ros, promontory peninsula, 
Pulrosaich, pull at the promontory. The sea backs up here at 
every tide, forms the pool, the promontory, and the peninsula. 

Rian G. ri, rhi, the old form of the modern ruigh, slope, 
declivity, and an, diminutive, small extent of declivity ; W. rhiw. 

Rhiorchar G. 1222-45 Ruthenercher, 1275 Rowechercher, 
1448 Ruryarchar, 1560 Rowarchar, 1607 Riarchar, Rhi, as above ; 
W. rhiw, slope, declivity, archar or erchar. Farquhar, Farquhar's 
hill side. It rises abruptly from the left bank of the Evelix river 
to a height of 250 feet in half a mile and cultivated from the river 
bank to 400 f set above sea level. 

Rhimusaig G. rhi-mhusach, marshy, ill-smelling, the declivity 
to the ill-smelling marsh ; W. mws, Corn, mus, Armoric muezez, 

Skelbo N. 1222-45 Scelleboll, 1529 Skailbo, from sker, isolated 
rock in the sea. Skerjabol, native pronunciation, skerribol. Here 
on an eminence rising abruptly from the shore was a Norse 
fortress or castle, the residence of a Norse nobleman. It was 
granted to Hugh Freskyn, by whom it was given to his relative 
Bishop Gilbert, who transferred it by consent of William Earl of 
Sutherland to his younger brother Richard de Moravia and became 
a free Barony, the King's rights excepted. Other lands were 
joined to it, and it was afterwards conferred on a younger son of 
the Sutherland family created Lord Duifus, again reverted to the 
Earls on the attainder of Lord -Duffus. The old Castle is in ruins. 

Skibo N. 1222-45, Scithaboll ; 1275, Schytheboll ; 1548, 
Skebo. Skeith, ship of war ; and bol, a farm or cultivated land. 
From the Dornoch Firth runs a narrow bay right up to the land 
immediately in front of Skibo Castle, into which the Norse reivers 
came with their long war galleys, and built a fort and castle, 
which, on their expulsion, became the residence of Bishop Gilbert 
and his successors. It was a large pile of buildings surrounded 
by a rampart. When Bishop Archibald succeeded in 1275 to the 
See of Sutherland and Caithness, a long controversy took place 
between him and the Earl of Sutherland as to the lands and castle 
of Skibo, but by the intervention of certain prelates and noblemen 

Sutherland Place Names. 331 

the Earl permitted him to retain the castle, with six davachs of 
land adjacent to it, to be held perpetually, without any contro- 
versy, saving the " forinsee" service to the King. The castle was 
thenceforth the principal residence 'of the Bishops of the diocese. 
We hear no more of it till 1544, when the Mackay chief took and 
kept possession of it for several years during the absence of the 
Bishop, Robert Stewart, brother of the Earl of Lennox, in the 
south of Scotland and in England. Getting involved in the 
intrigues of the Conrt with England and France, and the shifting 
quarrels of the nobility during the minority of Mary and the 
regency of her mother, the Bishop entrusted Mackay with the 
control of his lands in the county. This was very annoying to the 
Earl of Sutherland, for he and Mackay were far from being on 
friendly terms. About 1549-50 he and Huntly, then Lord- 
Lieutenant of the North, made terms with the Bishop, whose sister 
the Earl of Sutherland married about this time and arranged to 
send a Captain Cullen, a relative of Huntly, with a large force of 
infantry and some artillery to dispossess Mackay of Skibo and its 
lands. The commander, Neil Macwilliam Aberach Mackay, seeing 
that his small garrison was unequal to resist artillery, evacuated 
the castle, and quietly retired to Strathnaver. 

In 1650 the renowned Montrose was confined in Skibo Castle 
for several days -after his capture in Assynt. In 1760 Pococke,. 
Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland, in his tour through Sutherland and 
Caithness, visited Skibo, then possessed by the Honourable George 
Mackay, half-brother to Lord Reay, and M.P. for the coun:y, who 
planted the older portion of its woods, and to whose taste and 
industry in making other improvements the Skibo part of the 
parish of Dornoch is much indebted. In 1786 Skibo estate was. 
purchased by George Dempster of Dunnichcn,, who also greatly 
improved it an eminent agriculturist and a public-spirited gentle- 
man, " the true-blue Scot, I'se warrant," of Burns. His younger 
brother, J. H. Dempster, shortly afterwards purchased the estates 
of Pulrossie and Overskibo. Their grandfather, a merchant in 
Dundee, bought Dunnichen in 1700. Mr J. H. Dempster was. 
succeeded by his daughter and heiress, Harriet, who married W. 
Soper, Esq., of the E.I.C.S. He assumed by Royal licence the 
surname of Dempster in compliance with the entail of the estates. 
Mrs Dempster died in 1810, leaving a son, George Dempster of 
Skibo, and four daughters. The Dempsters were respected by all 
ranks, and as landlords most kind and indulgent to their tenantry. 
The last of the Dempsters in Sutherland sold the estates in the 
sixties to Mr Chernside, an Australian, for a large amount. He 

332 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

disposed of it in 1872 to Evan Sutherland Walker for 130,000. 
Mr Walker greatly improved the Castle and outbuildings, adding 
considerably to their capacity. The extent of the estate is about 
20,000 acres. Rental under 4200 ; and si ace judicial rents have 
been fixed by the operation of the Crofters Act, 1886, the rental 
is greatly reduced. The Skibo Castle grounds and policies arc the 
prettiest in the county. 

Sitheraw Pro. Shi-er-a ; N. SudrJ^a, Sydera, the South Hall. 
1222-45, Siwardhoch (Siguard-haugr) ; 1557, Sythera. Here, it is 
said, the redoubtable Siguard Eysteinson, who subdued Catenes 
and Suderland to Ecciallsbakki (Oykell), and defeated and killed 
Malbrigd of the " buck tooth " in 875, was buried, and a great 
cairn raised over his grave. Siward-hoch or Sigurd-haugr means 
Si ward's or Siguard 's Cairn. 

Tor-boll N. torf-bol, the peat place. Norse has no such word 
as tor. Tor is essentially Celtic, and has various significations, 
tower, castle, mound, eminence, hill, rock, even tomb and grave, 
from the raised cairns or mounds on tombs and graves. Torr is a 
most ancient word found in almost all languages, Eastern and 
Western, evidently borrowed from the Celtic. The Welsh seem to 
have preserved the root word in " Dwyre," to rise to view ; what 
are hills but objects rising to view 1 hence the application of the 
primitive signification to eminences rounded or otherwise. The 
Moors call the Atlas Mountains Dyr, Dyr-in (Pliny, Strabo). 
Taur-us, a mountain in Asia Minor, and in Poland, Taurini was 
applied to the inhabitants of the mountains between Italy and 
Gaul ; their chief town was the modern Tur-in. We have no end 
of "tors" in Devon and Cornwall, and Mam- tor, mother-tor, in 

Tur, tower, is confined to that signification. It is also found 
in many languages, and may be claimed as a Celtic word. Ir. 
tur, W. twr, Corn, tur, Arm. twr, tur ; Manx toor, Lat. turr-is, 
Gr. tur-os, tur-is ; Dan. tur ; Swed. tor ; It. torre, Arab, thar, 
tower, tour, hill ; Pers. tar ; Armen. tar, hill ; Syr. thur, hill ; 
Heb. thor and thur, hill. 

Whitefaced Anglicised form of Aodann or Eudann, face, fore- 
head, front, visage. Ir. eadan, Manx eddin, face, and ban, fair ; 
eudann-bhan, the white face. 



Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, Bart. 

Charles Eraser-Mackintosh of Drummond, LL.D. 

Alexander Macbain, M.A., F.S.A. Scot., rector, Raining's School, 


William Mackay, solicitor, Inverness 

Alexander Mackenzie, editor, " Scottish Highlander," Inverness 
Duncan Campbell, editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 
John Mackay, C.E., Hereford 


Baillie, James E. B., of Dochfour, M.P. 

Bankes, P. Liot, of Letterewe 

Bignold, Arthur, of Lochrosque, Ross-shire 

Brodie, W. A. G., 15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh 

Burgess, Peter, banker, Fortrose 

Campbell, Alasdair, of Kilmartin, Glen-Urquhart 

Chisholm of Chisholm, 33 Tavistock Square, London 

Ferguson, R. C. Munro, of Novar, M.P. 

Fletcher, J. Douglas, of Rosehaugh 

Fletcher, Fitzroy C., Letham Grange, Arbroath 

Finlay, R. B., Q.C., Solicitor General, Phillemore Gardens, London 

Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, of Drummond, LL.D. 

Fraser, Donald, of Millburn, Inverness 

Grant, Ian Murray, of Glenmoriston 

Jackson, Major Randle, of Swordale, Evan ton 

Lord Lovat, Right Hon., Beaufort Castle, Beauly 

Macdonald, Lachlan, of Skaebost,- Skye 

Macfarlane, D. H., M.P., 46 Portman Square, London 

Mackay, Donald, Gampola, Kandy, Ceylon 

Mackay, George F., Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, James, Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, John, C.E., J.P., Reay Villa, Hereford 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth S., of Gairloch, Bart. 

Mackenzie, Sir Allan R., of Kintail, Bart. 

Mackenzie, Thomas, Dailuaine House, Carron, Strathspey 

334 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mackenzie, W. D., of Glen Kyllachy and Fair, Inverness 

Maclean, L., Castle Packets, Cape Town, Africa 

Matheboii, Sir Kenneth, of Lochalsh, Bart. 

Ross, John M., 2 Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow 

Scobie, Captain N., late of Fearn, Ross-shire 

Sivewright, Sir James, K.C.M.G., "Commissioner of Crown Lands, 

Cape Colony, Africa 
Yule, Miss Amy Frances, Tarradale House, Ross-shire 


Baillie, Aug. C., Dochfour, Inverness 

Beith, Gilbert, MR, 7 Royal Bank Place, Glasgow 

Bell, Sir William J., LL.D., of Scatwell, Muir of Ord 

Blair, Sheriff, Inverness 

Brown, J. A. Harvie, Dunipace, Larbert 

Burgess, Alexander, Caledonian Bank, Gairloch 

Cameron, Ewen, manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank- 
ing Company, London 

Campbell, Duncan, editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 

Chisholm, Captain A. Macra, Glassburn, Strathglass 

Chisholm, Duncan, Colorado Springs, U.S.A. (Ell Poso Club) 

Chisholm, Roderick Gooden, 33 Tavistock Square, London 

Davidson, Sheriff, Fort-William 

Falconer, Dr J., St 'Ann's, Lasswade, Midlothian 

Fraser, Alexander, ex-Provost, Tigh-an-eilan, Dores Road, Inverness 

Grant, Brigade-Surgeon Alex., Reay House, Inverness 

Grant, Hugh, Lovat Road, Inverness 

Grant, Ian Macpherson, yr. of Ballindalloch 

Grant, J. P., of Rothiemurchus 

Innes, Charles, solicitor, Inverness 

Lord Kyllachy, The Hon., Edinburgh 

Macandrew, Sir H. C., sheriff-clerk of Inverness-shire 

Macallister, ex-Bailie T. S., Inverness 

Macdonald, Colonel Alexander, Portree 

Macdonald, Callum, Highland Club, Inverness 

Macdonell, ./Eneas, of Morar, 21 Rutland Square, Edinburgh 

Macdougall, Miss C. E., Canaan Lodge, Canaan Lane, Edinburgh 

Macfarlane, Alex., George Hotel, Nottingham 

Mackay, Eric, 24 Haldon Road, Westhill, Wandsworth, London 

Mackenzie, Mackay D., National Provincial Bank of England, 
Clifton, Bristol 

Mackenzie, Simon, The Hotel, Lochboisdale, S. Uist 

Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Moyhall 

Members. 335 

Mackintosh, A. Mackintosh. 36 St James Street, Buckingham 

Gate, London 

Mackintosh, A. R., Balmoral House, Nairn 

Mackintosh, Andrew (of Barclay, Mackintosh, <fe Co.), Monte Video 
Mackintosh, Angus, of Holme, Palace Chambers, 9 Bridge Street, 


Mackintosh, Eneas W., of Raigmore 
Macleod, Rev. Dr Norman, Ravenswood, Inverness 
Macleod, Reginald, Granton House, Edinburgh 
Macmillan, E. H., manager of the Caledonian Bank, Inverness 
Macpherson, Cluny, of Cluny Macpherson, Cluny Castle, Kingussie 
Macpherson, Charles J. B., of Bellville, Kingussie 
Macpherson, George, 8 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A. 
Macpherson, Colonel, of Glentruim, Kingussie 
Robertson, John L., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Inverness 
Scott, Roderick, solicitor, Inverness 
Sinclair, George, Caledonian Hotel, Inverness 
Smith, J. M., Woodlands, Inverness 
Stewart, C. D., of Brin, Inverness 

Thomson, Colin, American Exchange Bank, Duluth, Minnesota 
Wimberley, Captain D., Ardross Terrace, Inverness 


Atkin, Percy H., barrister-at-law, The Temple, London 
Barron, James, editor, " Inverness Courier," Inverness 
Batchen, Thomas M., C.E., Highland Railway, Inverness 
Beaton, Angus J., C.E., Alexandra Terrace, Rockferry, Cheshire 
Bentinck, Rev. Chas. D., E.G. Manse, Kirkhill, Inverness 
Birkbeck, Robert, '2Q Berkeley Square, London 
Bisset, Rev. Alexander, R.C., Nairn 
Black, F. A., solicitor, Inverness 
Black, John, Palace Hotel, Inverness 
Boyd, Thomas, bookseller, Oban 
Buchanan, F. C., Clarinnish, Row, Helensburgh 
ameron, Rev. Allan, Free East Church, Inverness 
Cameron, Dr A. H. F., Campden, Gloucestershire 
Cameron, Rev. Angus, St John's Rectory, Arpafeelie 
Cameron, Colin, ironmonger, High Street, Inverness 
Cameron, Donald, of Lochiel, Achnacarry House, Fort- William 
Cameron, D. M., wholesale grocer, Dempster Gardens 
Cameron, D., teacher, Blairour, Spean-Bridge, Kingussie 
Cameron, Dr, Nairn 

336 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cameron, John, S.S.C., 40 Castle Street, Edinburgh 

Cameron, John, bookseller, Union Street, Inverness 

Cameron, Kenneth, factor, Ullapool 

Cameron, Miss M. E., of Innseagan, Fort-William 

Cameron, Neil R., of D. Cameron & Co., grocers, Church Street, 


Cameron, Paul, Blair-Atholl 
Cameron, Rev. Alex., Sleat, Skye ^ 

Campbell, Donald, merchant, Kingussie 
Campbell, Dr, Laggan, Kingussie 

Campbell, Fraser (of Fraser <fc Campbell), High Street, Inverness 
Campbell, Sheriff, Stornoway 

Campbell, James, builder, Ardross Place, Inverness 
Campbell, James Lennox, Dalmally 

Campbell, The Rev. John, Kilmore Manse, Glen-Urquhart 
Campbell, Paul, shoemaker, Castle Street, Inverness 
Campbell, Paul, merchant, Kingussie 
Campbell, T. D., 16 Ness Bank, Inverness 
Carmichael, Alexander, 29 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh 
Cesari, E., Birnam Hotel, Dunkeld 
Chisholm. Rev. Alexander, R.C., Dornie, Kintail 
Cisholm, Archibald, P.F., Lochmaddy 
Cockburn, Thomas, Royal Academy, Inverness 
Cook, James, commission agent, Inverness 
Cook, John, commission agent, 21 Southside Road, Inverness 
Cran, John, Kirkton, Bunchrew 
Crerar, Alexander, merchant, Kingussie 
Crerar, Duncan Macgregor, 93 Nasseu Street, New York 
Cruickshanks, Dr, Nairn 

Cumming, John, Knoydart Estate Office, Inverie, Fort- William 
Davidson, Andrew, sculptor, Inverness 
Davidson, D., Waverley Hotel, Inverness 
J>ewar, Daniel, Beaufort 
Dewar, John, M.B., C.M., Portree 
Dey, Robert, M.A., Berryhill Public School, Wishaw 
Dick, Mrs, Greenhill, Lower Drurnmond 
Donaldson, Simon F., librarian, Free Library, Inverness 
Ferguson, Charles, The Gardens, Fairburn, Muir of Ord 
Ferguson, D. H., pipe-major, I.H.R.V., Inverness 
Finlayson, Dr, Munlochy 

Finlayson, John, commercial traveller, Hillside Villa, Inverness 
Forsyth, Dr, Abernethy 
Forsyth, John H., Southside Road, Inverness 

Members. 337 

Fraser, ^Eneas (Innes & Mackay), Inverness 

Fraser, Alex., draper, High Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Alexander, solicitor, Inverness 

Fraser, Alexander, grocer, Tomnahurich Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Alexander, city editor, Toronto Mail, Toronto 

Fraser, A. R., Bank of Africa, Capetown 

Fraser, Miss Catherine, 42 Union Street, Inverness 

Fraser, D. Munro, H.M. Inspector of Schools 

Fraser, Hugh, Arniadale Cottage, Greig Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Dr Hugh E., Church Street, Inverness 

Fraser, James, C.E., Inverness 

Fraser, James, Mauld, Strathglass 

Fraser, James M., agent, Caledonian Bank, Lochmaddy 

Fraser, John, draper, 80 High Street, Nairn 

Fraser, Roderick, contractor, Argyle Street, Inverness 

Fraser, William, Post Office, Greig Street, Inverness 

Freer, Miss Goodrich, Holy Trinity Vicarage, Paddington, London, 


Gauld, S. W. C., banker, Balmacara 
Gillanders, K. A., grocer, Queensgate, Inverness 
Gillies, Norman, governor, Poorhouse, Lochmaddy , 
Glass, C. C., 122 North Street, St Andrews 
Gossip, James A., Knowsley, Inverness 
Gow, James Mackintosh, F.S.A. Scot., Union Bank, Hunter's 

Square, Edinburgh 

Graham, Hugh M., solicitor, Church Street, Inverness 
Grant, George Macpherson, yr. of Ballindalloch 
Grant, Rev. J., E.G. Manse, Kilmuir, Skye 
Grant, James, commercial traveller, Arthur & Co., Glasgow 
Grant, Dr Ogilvie, Inverness 
Grant, Rev. Donald, Dornoch 
Grant, J. B., factor and commissioner for Mrs Chisholm of 

Chisholm, Erchless 
Grant, F. W., Mary hill, Inverness 
Grant, Colonel Robert, Beanachan, Inverness 
Grant, William, Gresham Insurance Office, London 
Grey, John, T., Rosehaugh House, Fortrose 
Gunn, Rev. Adam, Durness, Lairg. 
Henderson, John, factor for Rosehaugh, Fortrose' 
Holmes, James, 4 Finchley Road, Plimlico, London 
Holmes, T., 15 New Alma Road, Portswood, Southampton 
Hood, John, secretary English and Scottish Law Life Association, 



338 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Home, John, H.M. Geological Survey, Edinburgh 

Horrigan, J. E., collector of Inland Revenue, Oxford 

Keeble, T., Italian Warehouse, High Street, Inverness 

Kemp, D. William, Ivy, Lodge, Trinity, Edinburgh 

Kemp, Wm. D., of Messrs Strothers & Coy., Inverness 

Kennedy, Ewen, Newtonmore, Kingussie 

Kennedy, Rev. John, Caticol Manse, Lochranza, Arran 

Kerr, Dr, Inverness . 

Kerr, Rev. Cathel, Melness, Sutherlandshire 

Kerr, Thomas, agent, North of Scotland^Bank, Inverness 

Krupp, Wm., Victoria Hotel, Inverness 

Lawrence, William, Swordale, Evanton 

Lindsay, W. M., Jesus College, Oxford 

Linton, P. J., Fort- William 

Livingston, Colin, Fort- William 

Logan, Donald, Public School, Broadford 

Lumsden, Miss Louisa Innes, Glenbogie, Rhyme, Aberdeenshire 

Macbain, Alexander, M.A., F.S.A. Scot., rector, Raining's School, 

Macbean, William, Provost, 35 Union Street, Inverness 

Macbean, George, writer, Queensgate, Inverness 

Macbean, James, jeweller, Union Street, Inverness 

Macbean, Lachlan, editor, "Fifeshire Advertiser," Kirkcaldy 

Macbeth, R. J., architect, Queensgate, Inverness 

Maccallum, Henry V., solicitor, Queensgate, Inverness 

Maccallum, John, builder, Fort-William 

Maccowan, Rev. J., Cromdale 

Macdonald, Professor A. G., Norman School, Truro, Nova Scotia 

Macdonald, Alex., Accountant's Office, Highland Railway, Inverness 

Macdonald, Alex., Station Hotel, Forres 

Macdonald, Alexander, 62 Tomnahurich Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, Rev. Alex., Killearnan, North Kessock 

Macdonald, Rev. A., Kiltarlity 

Macdonald, Rev. D. J., Killean Manse, Muasdale, Kintyre 

Macdonald, Rev. Allan, R.C., Dalibrog, North Uist 

Macdonald, David, St Andrew's Street, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, Dr D., Glen-Urquhart 

Macdonald, Dr G. G., 26 King Street, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, Bailie Donald, Inverness 

Macdonald, Hugh, Accountant's Office, Highland Railway, Inver- 

Macdonald, Hugh, solicitor, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, James, builder contractor, Kingussie 

Members. 339 

Macdonald, James, hotel-keeper, Fort-William 

Macdonald, Thomas, builder, Hilton, Inverness 

Macdonald, Donald, flesher, Union Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, D. C., solicitor, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, Rev. James, M.A., B.D., F.C., Manse, Dornoch 

Macdonald, John, collector, Inland Revenue, Somerset House 

Macdonald, John, wholesale merchant, Castle Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, chief constable, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, Loch Ericht Hotel, Dalwhinnie 

Macdonald, Rev. J., Reay Free Church Manse, Shebster 

Macdonald, Kenneth, town-clerk, Inverness 

Macdonald, L., C. and M. engineer, 1317 Eleventh Avenue, Altoona, 

Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 

Macdonald, Murdo, C.E., Highland Railway, Inverness 
Macdonald, Murdo, M.A., Schoolhouse, Dores 
Macdonald, William, contractor, George Street, Inverness 
Macdougall, Rev. R., Resolis Invergordon 
Macfarlane, Peter, chemist, Fort- William 
Macgillivray, Donald P., Bank of Scotland, Inverness 
Macgregor, Donald, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 
Macgregor, John, Duncraig Villa, Fairfield Road, Inverness 
Macgregor, Peter, M.A., Assynt 

Machardy, Alex., chief constable, The Castle, Inverness 
Macintyre, P. B., Commissioner, Crofters' Commission 
Macintyre, Peter, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh 
Macintosh, Rev. John, Free Church Manse, Fort-William. 
Maciver, Duncan, Church Street, Inverness 
Mackay, ^Eneas, bookseller, Stirling 

Mackay, Charles, contractor, Dempster Gardens, Inverness 
Mackay, Donald, Braemore, Dunbeath 
Mackay, Francis D., Standard Bank of Africa, London 
Mackay, John, editor, " Celtic Monthly," Glasgow 
Mackay, J. G., merchant, Portree 

Mackay, Thomas A., agent, British Linen Coy.'s Bank, Inverness 
Mackay, Rev. Thomson, B.D., Strath, Skye 
Mackay, William, solicitor, Queensgate, Inverness 
Mackay, William, bookseller, High Street, Inverness 
Mackenzie, Alexander, editor, " Scottish Highlander," Inverness 
Mackenzie, Alex., C.E., Kingussie 
Mackenzie, Alex. F., architect, Union Street, Inverness 
Mackenzie, A. C., teacher, Mary burgh, Dingwall 
Mackenzie, Colin C., F.C. Manse, Fasnakyle 
Mackenzie, Evan N. B., yr. of Kilcoy, Belmaduthy House, Munlochy 

340 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mackenzie, Dr F. M., Inverness 
Mackenzie, Mrs Isabel, Silverwells, Inverness 
Mackenzie, John, agent, Commercial Bank, Inverness 
Mackenzie, John, gamedealer, &c., Union Street, Inverness- 
Mackenzie, John, jun., Dun vegan, Portree 
Mackenzie, John T., factor, Uig, Skye 
Mackenzie, Murdo, Inland Revenue, Charleston, Gairloch 
Mackenzie, M. T., M.B. & C.M., Scalpaig, Lochmaddy 
Mackenzie, William, secretary, Crofters' Commission 
Mackenzie, William, clothier, Bridge Street, Inverness 
Mackinnon, Alexander D., solicitor, Portree 
Mackiunon, Charles, Howden & Coy.'s, Inverness 
Mackintosh, Andrew, H.M. Customs, Inverness 
Mackintosh, JEneas, The Doune, Daviot 
Mackintosh, Duncan, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 
Mackintosh, John, 57 Church Street, Inverness 
Mackintosh, John, solicitor, Union Street, Inverness 
Mackintosh, Neil, yr., of Raigmore 
Mackintosh, Rev. A., Chapel House, Fort-William 
Mackintosh, Lachlan, merchant, Kingussie 
Mackintosh, R. L., wine merchant, Bridge Street, Inverness 
Mackintosh, William, Druminuir Estate Office, Keith 
Maclachlan, Dugald, Caledonian Bank, Portree 
Maclachlan, Duncan, Public Library, Edinburgh 
Maclean, Rev. D., Duirinish, Portree 
Maclean, Magnus, M.A., Assistant Professor, The University, 


Maclean, Peter, solicitor, Lochmaddy 
Maclean, Peter, merchant, Dunvegan 
Macleay, William, birdstuffer, Church Street, Inverness 
Macleish, D., banker, Fort- William 
Macleiman, Alex., flesher, New Market, Inverness 
Maclennan, A. D., solicitor, Portree 
Maclennan, John, Estate Office, Stornoway 
Maclennan, Rev. D. S., Laggan, Kingussie 
Macleod, Angus D., Bellsfield Hotel, Windermere 
Macleod, G. G., teacher, Gledfield Public School, Ardgay 
Macleod, Henry Dunning, Oxford and Cambridge Club, London 
Macleod, John, Public School, Drumsmittal, North Kessock 
Macleod, John, M.P., Inverness 
Macleod, M. D., M.B., of Beverley, Yorkshire 
Macleod, Neil, 22 Viewforth Gardens, Edinburgh, Bard to the 


Members. 341 

Macleod, R., clothier, Castle Street, Inverness 

Macmichael, the Rev. Duncan, Duncansburgh, Fort- William 

Macnab, John, teacher, Kilmuir, Portree 

Macnee, James, M.D., Inverness 

Macneill, Rev. J. G., Free Church Manse, Cawdor 

Macnish, Rev. Dr. Cornwall, Ontario, Canada 

Macphail, I. R. N,, advocate, Edinburgh 

Macphail, Rev. J. S., Free Church Manse, Griminish, Benbecula 

Macphail, Samuel Rutherford, M.D., medical superintendent, 

Derby Borough Asylum 
Macpherson, Alex., solicitor, Kingussie 
Macpherson, Alexander, 3 Seton Place, Edinburgh 
Macpherson, Captain, J. F., Caledonian United Service Club, 


Macpherson, Duncan, steamboat agent, Union Street, Inverness 
Macpherson, Duncan, Inverguseran, Knoydart 
Macpherson, George, Scottish Widows' Fund, St Andrew's Square, 


Macpherson, John, The Hotel, Ullapool 
Macpherson, Alex., grocer, Tnglis Street, Inverness 
Macqueen, Rev. John, Chapel House, Inverness 
Macqueen, William, Baron Taylor's Lane, Inverness 
Macrae, Rev. Farquhar, M.A., E.G. Manse, Glenorchy, Dalmally 
Macrae, Rev. A., Free Church Manse, Clachan, Kintyre 
Macrae, R., posting master, Beauly 
Macrae, John, solicitor, Dingwall 
Macrae, John, M.D., Lynwood, Murrayfield, Midlothian 

Macrae, Dr, 242 Westgate Road, Newcastle 

Macrury, Rev. John, Snizort, Skye 

Mactavish, Alexander, Ironmonger, Castle Street, Inverness 

Mactavish, Duncan, High Street, Inverness 

Mactavish, P. D., solicitor, Inverness 

Macvean, C. S., Kilfinichen House, Penny ghael, Mull 

Martin, W. A., Beauclere Road, London, W. 

Masson, Rev. Dr Donald, 57 Albany Place, Edinburgh 

Matheson, Gilbert, draper, Inverness 

Matheson, R. F., factor, Tarbert, by Portree 

Maxwell, Thomas Edward Hall, of Dargavel, Dunolly, Inverness 

Medlock, Arthur, Bridge Street, Inverness 

Menzies, Duncan, farmer, Blairich, Rogart 

Miller, Dr, Belford Hospital, Fort-William 

Mitchell, Alex., agent, E.G. Railways, Inverness 

Moir, Dr, High Street, Inverness 

342 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Morgan, Arthur, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh. 

Morrison, John M., Stornoway 

Mortimer, John, 344 Great Western Road, Aberdeen 

Munro, Rev. Robert, B.D., Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow 

Munro, William, bookseller, Petty Street, Inverness. 

Murdoch, John, Horton Cottage, Uddingstone 

Murray, Francis, Messrs James Finlay & Co., 34 Leadenhall Street, 
E.C. ^ 

Murray, James, M.D., Inverness 

Nairne, David, sub-editor, " Northern Chronicle " 

Nicolson, Donald, Primrose Cottage, Uig, Portree 

Neil, R. A., Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge 

Paterson, Donald, factor, Askernish, So. Uist 

Paterson, Rod., town chamberlain, Inverness 

Poison, A., Public School, Dunbeath 

Ritchie, Rev. R. L., Creich, Sutherlandshire 

Robertson, Rev. Charles M., Mrs Macdonald's New Buildings, 
Charles Street, Inverness 

Robertson, Rev. Duncan, The Manse, Tarbert, Lochfyne 

Robertson, Ossian, banker, Stornoway 

Robson, A. Mackay, Constitution Street, Leith 

Roddie, W. S., music teacher, Southside Road, Inverness 

Ross, A. M., editor, " The North Star," Dingwall 

Ross, ex-Provost Alex., LL.D., Inverness 

Ross, David, solicitor, Church Street, Inverness 

Ross, Donald, assistant audit inspector, Highland Railway, Inver- 

Ross, James, hotelkeeper, Broadford, Skye 

Ross, John, procurator-fiscal, Stornoway 

Sharp, D., 81 Scott Street, GarnethilJ, Glasgow 

Shaw, James T., Gordonbush, Brora 

Shirres, George Buchan, Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambriige 

Sinclair, Rev. A. Maclean, Belfast, Prince Edward's Island 

Sinton, Rev. Thomas, Dores, Inverness 

Skene, Lawrence, Portree 

Steele, A. F., agent, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 

Stewart, Colin J., Dingwall 

Stewart, A. J., grocer, Union Street 

Stewart, Robert, 46 Shore Street, Inverness 

Stewart, Robert T,, agent, Commercial Bank, Tain 

Strachan, Professor, Marple, Cheshire 

Strachan, R. R., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Inverness 

Stuart, ex-Bailie W. G., Inverness 

Members. 343 

Sutherland, John, rector, Andersonian Institution, Forres 

Swan, Cameron, 58 Holland Fark, London 

Thomson, Hugh, stockbroker, Inverness 

Urquhart, Donald, Public School, Staffin, Portree 

Urquhart, Robert, jun., solicitor, Forres 

Wallace, Thomas, rector, High School, Inverness 

Wark, 0. R., local manager, Lancashire Insurance Offices, Inver 

Warren, John, accountant, British Linen Co.'s Bank, Forres 
Watson, W. J., rector, Royal Academy, Inverness 
Whyte, Duncan, live-stock agent, 226 Duke Street, Glasgow 
Whyte, John, " Highland Times," Inverness. 
Young, David, secretary, Caledonian Bank, Inverness 


Bannerman, Hugh, Southport 

Chisholm, Colin, Inverness 

Finlayson, John, rector, Farraline School, Inverness 

Forbes, Duncan, of Culloden 

Grant, John, jun., Oakbank, Glen-Urquhart 

Mackay, John, of Ben Reay 

Mackenzie, ex-Bailie Alexander, Silverwells, Inverness 

Mackenzie, W., late manager, Moyhall 

Maclennan, John, teacher, Bilbster Public School, Wick 

Macpherson, Campbell, Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland 

Noble, John, bookseller, Inverness 

Ross, Hugh, V.S., Inverness 

Sutherland, H,, Wick 




Ossian's Poems (H. Society's edition, 

Gaelic and Latin), 3 vols. 
Smith's Gaelic Antiquities 
Smith's Seann Dana .... 
Highland Society's Report on Ossian's 

Poems ...... 

Stewart's Sketches of the Highlands, 2 vols 
Skene's Picts and Scots .... 

Dain Osiein Mhic Fhinn .... 

Macleod's Oran Nuadh Gaelach 
An Teachdaire Gaelach, 1829-30 
Carew's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland . 
Grain Ghilleasbuig Ghrannd, two copies . 
Connell's Reul-eolas .... 

Maclauchlan's Celtic Gleanings 
Maclauchlan's Early Scottish Church 
The Dean of Lismore's Book . 
Macleod and Dewar's Gaelic Dictionary . 
Highland Society's do., 2 vols. 

Ritson's Caledonians, Picts and Scots 
Dr Walker's Hebrides, 2 vols . 
Campbell's Language, Poetry, and Music 

of the Highland Clans 
Macnicol's Remarks on Dr Johnston's Tour 

in the Hebrides .... 
Somers' Letters from the Highlands 


Colonel Mackenzie 
of Parkmount 



Mr W. Mackay 
Mr Charles Mackay 


Rev. Dr Maclauchlau 

Sir Ken. S. Mackenzie 
of Gairloch, Bart, 

Mr John Murdoch 


346 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Cameron's Chemistry of Agriculture . Mr John Murdoch 

Sketches of Islay ditto 

Cameron's History of Skye . . . ditto 
Kennedy's Bardic Stories of Ireland , ditto 
Hicky's Agricultural Class-Book * ..' . ditto 
Grain Ghaelach Mhic Dhunleibhe . . ditto 
The Wolf of Badenoch ^ ditto 
Familiar Illustrations of Scottish Life . ditto 
Antiquity of the Gaelic Language . . ditto 
The Dauntless Red Hugh of Tyrconnell . ditto 
The Kilchoman People Vindicated . ditto 
Caraid a' 'Ghaidheil Sermon . . . ditto 
Highland Clearances the Cause of High- 
land Famines ..... ditto 
Co-operative Associations ... ditto 
Lecture . . . . . ditto 
Review of " Eight Days in Islay " . . ditto 
Gold Diggings in Sutherland . . . ditto 
Review of Language of Ireland . . ditto 
Highland Character . . . . ditto 
An Teachdaire Gaelach, 1829-30 . . ditto 
The Scottish Regalia .... ditto 
Campbell's West Highland Tales, 4 vols . Mr Alex. Mackenzie 
Bliadhna Thearlaich .... ditto 
Macfarlane's Collection of Gaelic Poems . Miss Hood 
Old Gaelic Bible (partly MSS.) . . J. Mackenzie, M.D., 

of Eileanach 

MacHale's, Archbishop, Irish Pentateuch . Canon Bourke 

Irish Translation of Moore's Melodies . ditto 
The Bull "Ineffabilis" (Latin, English, 

Gaelic, and French) .... ditto 

Celtic Language and Dialects . f . ditto 

Bourke's Irish Grammer .... ditto 

Bourke's Easy Lessons in Irish . . ditto 

Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry . Rev. W. Ross, Glas- 

Mac-Crimmon's Piobaireachd . . . Rev. A. Macgregor 

JStratton's Gaelic Origin of Greek and Latin ditto 
Gaelic Translation of Apocrypha (by Rev. 

A. Macgregor) . . . . ditto 
Buchanan's Historia Scotiae . . .Mr William Mackay 

The Game Laws, by R. G. Tolmie . . ditto 




St James's Magazine, vol., i. . "...'I I* 
Fingal (edition 1762) . 

Collection of English Poems (2 vols.) 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue 
Scoto-Celtic Philology 

Dana Oisein (Maclauchlan's edition). 

Munro's Gaelic Primer . 

M' Alpine's Gaelic Dictionary . 

M'Pherson's Duanaire . , . 

Munro's Gaelic Grammar 

Grain Mhic-an-t-Saoir 

Grain Uilleim Ross , 

Ceithir Searmoinean, le Dr Dewar . 

Carsewell's Prayer Book (Gaelic) 

Scots' Magazine (1757) . 

History of the Rebellion, 1745-46 . 

Welsh Bible . . . 

Gld Gaelic New Testament 

Adhamh agus Eubh (Adam and Eve) 

Old Gaelic Bible 

Grain Ailein Dughallaich 

Maopherson's Poem's of Ossian 

An Gaidheal for 1873 . 

Grain, cruinnichte le Mac-an-Tuairnear 

The Gospels, in eight Celtic dialects 
Fraser of Knockie's Highland Music 

The Clan Battle at Perth, by Mr A. M. 


The Scottish Metrical Psalms . 

Sailm Dhaibhidh Ameadreachd (Ed. 1659) 

Biographical Dictionary of Eminent 

Scotsmen (9 vols.) .... 
Grain Ghilleasbuig Grannd 
Clarsach nan Beann . . 
Fulangas Chriost . . . 
Dain Spioradail . . ... 


Mr Mackay, : book- 
seller, Inverness 
C. Fraser-Mackintosh, 

Esq., M.P. 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
Mr D. Maciver 
Lord Neaves, LL.D.,. 


Maclachlan & Stewart 

Mr A. Macbean 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Macbean 

The Publishers 
Mr A. Mackintosh 

Shaw, London 
Mr J. Mackay, J.P., 


Mr Mackenzie, Bank 
Lane, Inverness 

The Author 

Mr J. Fraser, Glasgow 

)Mr A. R. Macraild, 
J Inverness 

Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 





Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Spiritual Songs (Gaelic and English) 
Alexander Macdonald's Gaelic Poems 
Cram Mhic-an-t-Saoir .... 
Leabhar nan Ceist ..... 
Co-eigneachadh Soisgeulach (Boston) 
History of the Druids (Toland's) 
Melodies from the Gaelic ^. 

Maclean's History of the Celtic Language. 
Leabhar Sailm ..... 
Origin and descent of the Gael 
Stewart's Gaelic Grammar 
Macpherson's Caledonian Antiquities 


Biboul Noimbh (London, 1855) 

Searmona Mhic-Dhiarmaid 

Dain Oisein ...... 

Fingal (1798) 

Life of Columba (1798) .... 
Grain Roib Dhuinn Mhic-Aoidh 
Dain leis an Urr. I. Lees 
Searmons leis an Urr. E. Blarach 
Eaglais na h-Alba, leis an Urr A. Clare, 

Inbhirnis ..... 

Bourke's Aryan Origin of the Gaelic Race 

Reid's Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica 

Mimro's Gaelic Primer (3 copies in library) 

Eachdraidh ria h-Alba, le A. MacCoinnich 

(3 copies) ..... 
Dain Ghailig leis an Urr. I. Lees 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue, by 

Professor Geddes (1872) . 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue (1873) 
Poems by Ossian, in metre (1796) . 

Proceedings of the Historical and Archaeo- 
logical Association of Ireland 

Shaw's Gaelic Dictionary (1780) 

History of the Culdees, Maccallum's. 

Macdiarmid's Gaelic Sermons (MS. 1773). 

Gaelic Grammar, Irish character (1808) . 


Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 



Mr J. Mackay, Here- 


The Author. 

Rev. Dr Lees, Paisley 

The Author 


Mr Alex. Kennedy, 

The Society 

Rev. A. Macgregor. 


Rev. A. Macgregor 

Library. 349 


Gaelic Pentateuch, Irish character . . Rev. A. Macgregor 

Gaelic Book of Common Prayer (1819) . ditto 

Gaelic Psalter, Irish character . . . ditto 

Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, 13 vols. .... 

Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica 

Grain le Rob Donn .... 

Leabhar Oran Gaidhealach 

Vible Casherick, Manx .... 

Biobla Naomtha, Irish . ... 

Dr Smith's Seann Dana . 

Evan's Welsh Grammar and Vocabulary . 

Grain Uilleim Ros ..... 

Grain Dhonnacha Bhain .... 

Co-chruinneachadh Grain Ghailig 

Book of Psalms, Irish .... 

Grain Nuadh Ghaidhealach, le A. Mac 
dhomhnuill ..... 

Laoidhean o'n Sgriobtuir, D. Dewar . 

Leabhar Gran Gailig .... 

Am Biobla Naomtha (1690) . 

The Family of lona. .... 

Grant's Origin and Descent of the Gael . 

Rathad Dhe gu Sith .... 

Dain Spioradail, Urr. I. Griogalach . 

Dara Leabhar airson nan Sgoilean Gaidh- 
ealach ...... 

Treas Leabhar do. do 

What Patriotism, Justice, and Christianity 
demand for India . . . 

Grain Ghaidhealach . . 

Priolo's Illustratons from Ossian . . Purchased 

Photograph of Gaelic Charter, 1408. . Rev. W. Ross, Glas- 

The Celtic Magazine, vol. i. The Publishers 

Do., vols, ii. to xi. .... Purchased 

Elementary Lessons in Gaelic . . . The Author 

Stewart's Gaelic Grammar . . . Mr D. Mackintosh 

Irish Pedigrees, by O'Hart . . . The Author 

Dan an Deirg agus Tiomna Ghuill (Eng- 
lish Translation), 2 copies . . Mr C. S. Jerram. 
Gaelic and English Vocabulary (1741) . Rev. A. Macgregor. 


Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 


Aryan Origin of the Celtic. 

Old Map of Scotland (1746) 

Collection of Harp Music . . . 
Valuation Roll of the County of Inverness 

(1869-70) ..... 
Do. do. Ross (1871-72) *. 

Inverness Directory (1869-70) . . 

Greek Testament ..... 
Greek Lexicon ..... 
Gospel of St John adapted to the Hamil- 

tonian System (Latin) . . . 
Historic de Gil Bias de Santillane (French) 
Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, 2nd edition 
My Schools and Schoolmasters . . 

Gaelic Etymology of the English Language 

Dr Charles Mackay . . . . 
The Highland Echo . . . 

The Highland Newspaper, complete, 4 

volumes . . . . . . . 

Hebrew Celtic Affinity, Dr Stratton . 
Illustrations of Waverley, published for | 

the Royal Association for Promoting V 

the Fine Arts in Scotland (1865) . j 
Illustrations of Heart of Midlothian, do. 

do (1873) . ..... 

Illustrations of the Bride of Lammermuir, 

do. do. (1875) ..... 
Illustrations of Red Gauntlet, do. do. (1876) 
Illustrations of the Fair Maid. of Perth . 
Illustrations of the Legend of Montrose . 
Guim on the Harp in the Highlands . 


Race and 1 Mr John Mackay, 

/ Hereford 

.. Mr Colin M'Callum, 

Mr Charles Fergusson 




Mr A. Mackenzie 
Mr James Reid 

J. Mackay, Swansea 

The Author 
m ^ p Farraline 

vnl N V, v 
Lla ' *' * 


Miss Cameron of Inn- 

English Translation of Buchanan's "Latha ) 

'Bhreitheanais," by the Rev. J. > Translator 

Sinclair, Kinloch-Rannoch (1880) . j 
An t-Oranaiche, compiled by Archibald 

Sinclair (1880) .... Compiler 
Danaibh Spioradail, &c., le Seumas Mac- \ A. Maclean, coal mer- 

Bheathain, Inverness (1880) . .J chant, Inverness. 
Macdiarmid's Sermons in Gaelic (1804) . Colin MacCallum, 





Bute Docks, Cardiff, by John M'Connachie, 
C.E. (1876) ..... 

Observations on the Present State of the } 
Highlands, by the Earl of Selkirk V 
(1806) ) 

Collection of Gaelic Songs, by Ranald 
Macdonald (1806) .... 

Mary Mackellar's Poems and Songs (1880) 
Dr O'Gallagher's Sermons in Irish (1877) . 

John Hill Burton's History of Scotland) 

(9 vols.) . . . . . .} 

Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland 

(2 vols.) 

A Genealogical Account of the Highland ) 

Families of Shaw, by A. Mackintosh > 

Shaw (1877) .... . . ) 

History of the Clan Chattan, by A. 

Mackintosh Shaw (1880) . 
Leabhair an t-Sean Tiomna air na^ 

dtarruing on Teanguidh Ughdar- 

rach go Gaidhlig tre churam agus 

saothar an doctur . Uiliam Bhedel, 

Roimhe so Easpog Chillemhorie 'n 

Erin (1830) . . 
Edmund Burke's Works, 8 vols. 
Land Statistics of Inverness, Ross, and ) 

Cromarty in the Year 18,71, by H. C. 

Eraser . . . . . . ) 

Church of Scotland Assembly Papers 

The Poolewe Case .... 
Ossian's Fingal rendered into Heroic ) 

Verse, by Ewen Cameron (1777) . j 
Ossian's Fingal rendered into verse by 

Archibald Macdonald (1808) . 
Clarsach an Doire Gaelic Poems, by 

Neil Macleod . . . 

MacDiarmid's Gaelic Sermons . 

Leabhar Commun nan Fior .GhaeJ The 
Book of the Club of True Highlanders 


The Author. 

John Mackay, J.P., 

F. C. Buchanan, Clarin 
nish, Row, Helens- 

The Author. 
John Mackay, J.P., 


L. Macdonald of 

The Author 

The Author 

A. R. MacRaild, In- 

Mr Colin Chisholm. 
The Author 

Mr W. Mackenzie 
A. H. F. Cameron, 
Esq. of Lakefield 


The Author 
Mr Colin MacCallum, 



Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Grammar of the Gaelic Language (Irish), 

by E. O'C. 
Esquisse de la Religion des Gaulois. Par 

M. Henri Gaidoz. 1879 . 
Notice sur les Inscriptions Latines de 

1'Irlande. Par M. Henri Gaidoz. 


Melusine Recueil de Mythologie, &c. Par 

MM. Gaidoz et Holland. 1878 . 
Guide to Sutherlandshire, by Hew Morrison 
Transactions of the Royal National Eist- 1 

eddfod of Wales . . . J 
Bute Docks, Cardiff, by J. Macconnachie, 

M.LC.E. ...... 

In Memoriam Earl of Seafield 

Past and Present Position of the Skye) 
Crofters . . . . . . / 

American Journal of Philology 

Revue Celtique, vol. VI., No. 3 

Notes on St Clement's Church, Rowdill, 
Harris ...... 

Notes on Clan Chattan Names 

The Proverbs of Wales . 

J. D. Dixon's Gairloch .... 

Struan's Poems ..... 
The Writings of Eola .... 

The Proverbs of Wales, by T. R. Roberts . 

An Old Scots Brigade, by John Mackay, 

Herrisdale ..... 
Cromb's Highland Brigade 
Glossary of Obscure Words in Shakespeare 

and his Contemporaries, by Dr Chas. 

Mackay ...... 

Pococke's Tour in Scotland issued by the ) 

Historical Society of Scotland . . f 
Walcott's Scottish Church 


Mr H. C. Fraser 
M. Gaidoz 

M. Gaidoz 

M. Gaidoz 
The Author 
Mr J. Mackay, J.P., 

The Author 
The Dowager-Count- 
ess of Seafield 
L. Macdonald of Skae- 

M. Gaidoz 

Mr A. Ross, Inverness 
J. Macpherson, M.D. 
Mr J. Mackay, J.P., 

Mr A. Burgess, banker, 

Mr A. Kennedy 
Mr John Mackay of 

Ben Reay 

Mr J. Mackay, J.P., 


Mr D. William Kemp, 


Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 

Library. 353 


Dick Lander's Highland Legends Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 


Book of Scottish Story . - . .. . ditto 

Stuart Papers .... ditto 

The Constitution and Bye-Laws of the| Mr John Mackay of 

Scots Charitable Society of Boston . j Ben Reay 

Notes on Early Iron Smelting in Suther- ) Mr D. William Kemp, 

land ..... j Edinburgh 

Artificial Lighting ..... ditto 

The Mountain Heath, by David Macdonald Mr A. H. F. Cameron 

of Lakefield 
Oratio Dominica ..... Mr John Mackay, J.P., 

Old Testament in the Irish Language, Mr Paul Cameron, 

by Dr William Bedel, 1685 . . Blair-Atholl 

The Hermit in Edinburgh . . Dr Cameron, Liverpool 

The History of the Macleans, by Professor ) ^ , , 

J. P. Maclean f * 

Fingal's Cave, Staffa, 2 vols., by Professor ) ,. 

J. P. Maclean . . . . . j 

m , v> TT -i i I Mr John Mackay, J.P., 

The Reay tencibles Hereford J 

Reliquiae Celticse. Vol. I. Ossianica, \ 

with Memoir of Dr Cameron. Edited ( T , ,-,,. 

by Mr A. Macbain, M.A., and Rev. f 1 

John Kennedy . . . . ) 

The Elements of Banking. By Henry 1 

Dunning Macleod . . . . J 
John Laurie, an Eccentric Sutherland 1 A , , 

Dominie. By D. W. Kemp . . / A 

Irish New Testament . Dr Cameron, Wor- 

Report of the Worcester Diocesan Archi- ) ,. 

tectural and Archaeological Society . J 
Manuscript Collection of Music. By John \ ,., , 

Anderson, music master, Inverness . J 
Place Names of Scotland, by Rev. Mr 

Johnston Mr W. A. G. Brodie 

The Christian Doctrine, by the Archbishop 

of Tuam . ... Mr Colin Grant, Balti- 




Gaelic Society of Inverness 


Light of Britiuna Druidic Mysteries, by 

Owen Morgan, B.B.D. (Morien) 
Reliquae Celticse. Vol. II. Dr Cameron's. 

Edited by Mr A. Macbain, M.A., and 

Rev. John Kennedy. 
History of Urquhart and Glenmoriston, 

by William Mackay 
History of the Mackenzies, 2nd Edition, 

by Alex. Mackenzie 
Eachdraidh Beatha Chriosd 
The Songs and Poems of MacCodrum, edited 

by Rev. Arch. Macdonald, Kiltarlity . 
Celtic Gleanings, by Rev. J. G. Campbell . 



Pictish Inscriptions, by E. B. Nicolson, 

Bodleian Library, Oxford 
Deponent Verb in Irish, by Prof. Strachan 
Presbytery Records of Inverness and 

Dingwall, edited by Wm. Mackay, 

solicitor, Inverness 
Coinneach 'us Coille, by Alex. Macdonald, 



Mr John Mackay, J. P., 

The Editors 

The Author 

The Author 
The Author 

The Editor 

Mr John Mackay, 

C.E., Hereford 
Miss Amy Frances 

Yule, Tarradale 

House, Muir of 


The Author 
The Author 

The Editor 
The Author 


Gaelic Society of Inverness